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Proceedings Paper

Advanced materials for ultralightweight stable structures
Author(s): Rudolf Wagner; Michael Deyerler; Gunter Helwig
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Paper Abstract

Optical Instruments require high precision structures, under varying and often severe environmental conditions. If such instruments are movable, or carried on spacecraft or aircraft platforms, low mass is essential. Stabilization requirements and flight environment demand high dynamic stability, usually specified as high vibration frequency. Those 3 qualities - dimensional stability, high stiffness, low mass - present severe problems to the designer, if he is constrained by the use of conventional materials. Advanced ceramic material like SiC offers great potential, due to its extremely high stiffness, at very reasonably low mass, and thermal expansion. But technologies are not yet available to manufacture parts of 1 m dimensions or above. A special C/SiC material developed by Dornier Satellitensysteme GmbH and partners allows just that, today only limited to 3 m sizes by existing facilities. Mechanical properties are comparable to SiC, and the manufacturing process is far more economical. Advanced composites, in particular ultra-high-modulus carbon fiber materials, offer dimensional stability commensurate with Zerodur, at significantly lower mass. Those fibers exhibit ultra-high stiffness at negative thermal expansion and very low mass. THe paper presents an introduction into material properties and manufacturing processes of those two materials, and high-lights the design approach for a number of high performance structures for satellite borne optical instruments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 August 1999
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3737, Design and Engineering of Optical Systems II, (27 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.360012
Show Author Affiliations
Rudolf Wagner, Dornier Satellitensysteme GmbH (Germany)
Michael Deyerler, Dornier Satellitensysteme GmbH (Germany)
Gunter Helwig, Dornier Satellitensysteme GmbH (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3737:
Design and Engineering of Optical Systems II
Fritz Merkle, Editor(s)

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