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19 March 2008 Thermo-mechanical analysis of thin membranes and application in active flatness control design
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Membrane structures are excellent candidates for many lightweight large space structures, which can be utilized to improve the performance and to reduce the cost of space exploration and earth observation missions. In-orbit thermal disturbance is the main cause of membrane wrinkling, which deteriorates membrane surface accuracy. In order to maintain surface accuracy in the time-varying environment, active flatness control is regarded as a very important technology. In order to properly design active flatness control system, understanding of the thermo-mechanical coupling and the effects of tensioning forces in reducing membrane wrinkling is required. Based on the von-Karman nonlinear plate theory, a theoretical framework is developed in this paper. An FE model for a square membrane is developed as an example for case studies. Using thin shell elements, this model is capable of predicting the amplitude of out-of-plane displacements. Using this model, the effect of thermal disturbance is studied, which qualitatively agrees with experimental observations. By varying corner loads in the numerical model, it is demonstrated that corner loads can efficiently reduce surface deviation caused by a center-located heat source. In order to study the effect of thermal disturbance locations, different temperature distributions are applied to the membrane. With these temperature distributions, different tension forces combinations are evaluated in terms of improving surface accuracy.
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Xiaoyun Wang, Christian Sulik, Wanping Zheng, and Yan-Ru Hu "Thermo-mechanical analysis of thin membranes and application in active flatness control design", Proc. SPIE 6930, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2008, 69300H (19 March 2008);

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