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Characterizing Dual Matrix Composite Origami Deployment

GREYSON HODGES, MARK PANKOW

Abstract


Lightweight strain-energy deployable structures are well suited for applications in spacecraft structures and deployable habitats. Dual matrix composite origami describes a composite structure that utilizes two uniquely different matrix systems in the same fiber structure. An epoxy matrix is used to form rigid sections and a silicone matrix creates bending regions where one can create a collapsible structure. The added elastic properties of the silicone matrix allow the composite to harness internal strain-energy to spring open from a folded configuration to a flat plane. This is advantageous for solar arrays as they can be folded for compact transit and then return to a flat surface after being deployed. In this work, initial ground testing is used to verify repeatable deployment prior to micro gravity flight testing. To characterize the motion of the composite structures as they deploy, OptiTrack Flex 13 cameras are used in sync with a deployment mechanism that repeatably releases and tracks the origami structures. The data collected in this study will be used to validate the use of the flight rig, deployment mechanism, and motion tracking system for future micro gravity flight testing. Once tested and characterized in a micro gravity setting, the dual matrix composite origami structures developed in this work can be applied to large solar arrays to power next generation spacecraft and satellites with lower complexity compared to other deployable technology.


DOI
10.12783/asc36/35751

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