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Ultra-Thin Composite Deployable Booms


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The TRAC boom has many applications for spacecraft structures due to its efficient packaging. Reducing the thickness can extend the range of applications by enabling even tighter wrapping. A manufacturing process is proposed for ultra-thin TRAC booms with a total flange thickness of 71 μm. The mechanical behavior in both bending and torsion is studied through experiments. Increasing the flange opening angle is shown to greatly increase the bending stiffness around the Y axis, while increasing the bonded region width is shown to delay the appearance of local buckles and increase bending stiffness around the X axis.


EI Bending stiffness

GJ Torsional stiffness

r Flange radius of curvature

t Flange thickness

w Bonded region width

 Flange opening angle
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Keywords: Buckling; Deployable boom; Rollable structure; Spacecraft structure; Thin shell structure; Ultra-thin composites

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, California Institute of Technology 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA, Email: [email protected] 2: Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, California Institute of Technology 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA

Publication date: September 28, 2017

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