Flexible multibody dynamics is applied to the deployment analysis of a large space antenna composed of a reflective mesh, a cable network and a deployable truss structure. It is clarified that the tension of some of the cables increase when the reflector is stowed. The largest deployment force is observed slightly before the completion of the deployment. A proper allocation of both translational and rotational springs can provide an efficient deployment force. A deployment experiment on a 4.8 m aperture reflector model verifies the computational results. It is concluded that a flexible multibody dynamics simulation is an indispensable design tool for reducing the weight and ensuring the secure deployment of low-cost mesh reflectors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering