Inverse problem for shape control of flexible space reflectors using distributed solar pressure

Borggräfe, A., Heiligers, J., Ceriotti, M. and McInnes, C.R. (2014) Inverse problem for shape control of flexible space reflectors using distributed solar pressure. Smart Materials and Structures, 23(7), 075026. (doi: 10.1088/0964-1726/23/7/075026)

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This paper investigates controlled elastic deflection of thin circular space reflectors using an inverse problem approach to non-linear thin membrane theory. When changing the surface reflectivity across the membrane, the distributed loads due to ambient solar radiation pressure can be manipulated optically, thus controlling the surface shape without using mechanical or piezo-electric systems. The surface reflectivity can in principle be modulated using uniformly distributed thin-film electro-chromic coatings. We present an analytic solution to the inverse problem of finding the necessary reflectivity distribution that creates a specific membrane deflection, for example that of a parabolic reflector. Importantly, the reflectivity distribution across the surface is found to be independent of membrane size, thickness and solar distance, enabling engineering of the reflectivity distribution directly during the manufacture of the membrane.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: Borggräfe, A., Heiligers, J., Ceriotti, M., and McInnes, C.R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Smart Materials and Structures
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN (Online):1361-665X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in Smart Materials and Structures 23(7):075026
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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