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Proceedings Paper

Elastic memory composite technology for thin lightweight space- and ground-based deployable mirrors
Author(s): Steven C Arzberger; Naseem A. Munshi; Mark S. Lake; Joe Wintergerst; Steve Varlese; Melville P. Ulmer
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Paper Abstract

A novel shape memory composite material for the fabrication of thin, lightweight deployable mirrors is presented. The material has been evaluated for shape memory performance and dimensional stability. In addition, preliminary efforts have been directed toward the fabrication of lab-scale, replica mirrors. The concept combines a shape memory composite substrate with an electroplated metal reflective surface to provide a thin mirror with the ability to be deformed for packaging with good shape-recovery on deployment and reasonable post-deployed compliance that facilitates active shape control. The shape memory composite substrates are composed of Elastic Memory Composite (EMC) materials with appropriate reinforcements (i.e. fibers, particulates, or nanoreinforcements). The reflective surfaces are composed primarily of electroplated nickel with a variety of surface preparations to promote good adhesion to the composite substrate and provide optical-quality reflectance. Thin (i.e. less than 508 μm or 20 mils), EMC-composite mirrors have been prepared with adhered, electroplated nickel metal surfaces, which are less than 25.4 μm (i.e. 1 mil) thick. A single method of fabrication has been examined; electroplated thin metal deposition on a mandrel followed by subsequent adhesion to an EMC laminate. Investigative results of material fabrication, packaging and deployment testing, and preliminary optical-performance testing are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 December 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5179, Optical Materials and Structures Technologies, (12 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.507157
Show Author Affiliations
Steven C Arzberger, Composite Technology Development, Inc. (United States)
Naseem A. Munshi, Composite Technology Development, Inc. (United States)
Mark S. Lake, Composite Technology Development, Inc. (United States)
Joe Wintergerst, Composite Technology Development, Inc. (United States)
Steve Varlese, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Melville P. Ulmer, Northwestern Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5179:
Optical Materials and Structures Technologies
William A. Goodman, Editor(s)

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