Active Dynamic Analysis and Vibration Control of Gossamer Structures Using Smart Materials
Ruggiero, Eric John
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Increasing costs for space shuttle missions translate to smaller, lighter, and more flexible satellites that maintain or improve current dynamic requirements. This is especially true for optical systems and surfaces. Lightweight, inflatable structures, otherwise known as gossamer structures, are smaller, lighter, and more flexible than current satellite technology. Unfortunately, little research has been performed investigating cost effective and feasible methods of dynamic analysis and control of these structures due to their inherent, non-linear dynamic properties. Gossamer spacecraft have the potential of introducing lenses and membrane arrays in orbit on the order of 25 m in diameter. With such huge structures in space, imaging resolution and communication transmissibility will correspondingly increase in orders of magnitude. A daunting problem facing gossamer spacecraft is their highly flexible nature. Previous attempts at ground testing have produced only localized deformation of the structureâ s skin rather than excitation of the global (entire structureâ s) modes. Unfortunately, the global modes are necessary for model parameter verification. The motivation of this research is to find an effective and repeatable methodology for obtaining the dynamic response characteristics of a flexible, inflatable structure. By obtaining the dynamic response characteristics, a suitable control technique may be developed to effectively control the structureâ s vibration. Smart materials can be used for both active dynamic analysis as well as active control. In particular, piezoelectric materials, which demonstrate electro-mechanical coupling, are able to sense vibration and consequently can be integrated into a control scheme to reduce such vibration. Using smart materials to develop a vibration analysis and control algorithm for a gossamer space structure will fulfill the current requirements of space satellite systems. Smart materials will help spawn the next generation of space satellite technology.