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5 April 2007 Piezoelectric polymers actuators for precise shape control of large scale space antennas
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Extremely large, lightweight, in-space deployable active and passive microwave antennas are demanded by future space missions. This paper investigates the development of PVDF based piezopolymer actuators for controlling the surface accuracy of a membrane reflector. Uniaxially stretched PVDF films were poled using an electrodeless method which yielded high quality poled piezofilms required for this applications. To further improve the piezoperformance of piezopolymers, several PVDF based copolymers were examined. It was found that one of them exhibits nearly three times improvement in the in-plane piezoresponse compared with PVDF and P(VDF-TrFE) piezopolymers. Preliminary experimental results indicate that these flexible actuators are very promising in controlling precisely the shape of the space reflectors. To evaluate quantitatively the effectiveness of these PVDF based piezopolymer actuators for space reflector applications, an analytical approach has been established to study the performance of the coupled actuator-reflector-control system. This approach includes the integration of a membrane reflector model, PVDF piezopolymer actuator model, solution method, and shape control law. The reflective Newton method was employed to determine the optimal electric field for a given actuator configuration and loading/shape error.
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Qin Chen, Don Natale, Bret Neese, Kailiang Ren, Minren Lin, Q. M. Zhang, Matthew Pattom, K. W. Wang, Houfei Fang, and Eastwood Im "Piezoelectric polymers actuators for precise shape control of large scale space antennas", Proc. SPIE 6524, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2007, 65241P (5 April 2007);

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