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Proceedings Paper

Shape memory self-deployable structures for solar sails
Author(s): Witold Sokolowski; Seng Tan; Paul Willis; Mark Pryor
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Paper Abstract

A cold-hibernated elastic memory (CHEM) structures technology is one of the most recent results of the quest for simple, reliable and low-cost self-deployable structures. The CHEM technology utilizes shape-memory polymers in open-cell foam structures or sandwich structures made of shape-memory-polymer foam cores and polymeric laminated-composite skins. It takes advantage of a polymer's shape memory and the corresponding internal elastic recovery forces to self-deploy a compacted structure. This paper describes these structures and their major advantages over other expandable and deployable structures presently used. Previous preliminary investigations and experiments have confirmed the feasibility of certain CHEM structures for space applications. Further improvements in CHEM technology and structure design widen potential space applications, including advanced solar sail structural concepts that are revealed and described in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 December 2008
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 7267, Smart Materials V, 72670K (30 December 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.814301
Show Author Affiliations
Witold Sokolowski, Jet Propulsion Lab., California Institute of Technology (United States)
Seng Tan, Wright Materials Research (United States)
Paul Willis, Jet Propulsion Lab., California Institute of Technology (United States)
Mark Pryor, ATK Space Systems (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7267:
Smart Materials V
Nicolas H. Voelcker; Helmut W. Thissen, Editor(s)

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