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Design manufacture and testing of a composite support structure for spacecraft application
T. Pradeep, S. Kumar Soni,
Published in Elsevier Ltd
Volume: 22
Pages: 1374 - 1379
Spacecraft carries several electronic equipment, some of them have to be placed at a distance from the spacecraft panels with the help of a support structure. Such structures are subjected to significant vibration loads during the launch and also they have to be made with minimal mass. Support structure made of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) is the best suited. In this work design, manufacturing and structural testing of a typical such support structure are addressed. The design of the support structure involves arriving at a suitable layup of CFRP plies. In addition to the launch loads manufacturing issues are also considered in the design. Design driver here is the natural frequency of the support structure and having an appropriate coefficient of thermal expansion. Considerable mass saving is achieved by using the composite material compared to conventional aerospace material aluminium. The composite support structure is attached to the spacecraft using end fitting which is made of aluminium. Two such support structures are manufactured from CFRP prepregs using autoclave curing. Tensile test carried out on the support structure showed slightly higher modulus than what is used in the design. The strains measured during the bending test are very good agreement with the strains computed using the modulus measured in the tensile test. But the deflections measured are higher. The natural frequency of the support structure in bending is determined through a resonance search experiment and found good agreement with the frequency determined from the measured deflections. The results show significance influence of the end fitting on the natural frequency. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd.
About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetMaterials Today: Proceedings
PublisherData powered by TypesetElsevier Ltd