Larger and more powerful space based instruments are needed to meet increasingly sophisticated scientific demand. To support this need, concepts for telescopes with apertures of 100 meters are being investigated, but the required technologies are not in hand today. Due to the capacity limits of launch vehicles, the idea of deploying, erecting, or inflating large structures in space is being considered. Recently, rigidization concepts of large inflatable structures have demonstrated the capability of weight reductions of up to 50% from current concepts with packaging efficiencies near 80%. One of the important aspects of inflatable structures is vibration mitigation and line-of-sight control. Such control tasks are possible only after actuators/sensors are properly integrated into a rigidizable concept. To study these issues, we have developed an inflatable/rigidizable hexapod structure testbed. The testbed integrates state of the art piezo-electric self-sensing actuators into an inflatable/rigidizable structure and a fiat membrane reflector. Using this testbed, we plan to experimentally demonstrate achievable vibration and line-of-sight control. This paper contains a description of the testbed and an outline of the test plan.
Olawale Adetona, Lee Keel, Lucas Horta, Dave Cadogan, George Sapna and Steve Scarborough. "Description of New Inflatable/Rigidizable Hexapod Structure Testbed for Shape and Vibration Control," AIAA 2002-1451. 43rd AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference. April 2002. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2002-1451