Modulated solar pressure-based surface shape control of paraboloid space reflectors with an off-axis Sun-line
Smart materials and structures (Print)
Liu, J. and McInnes, C. (2018) Modulated solar pressure-based surface shape control of paraboloid space reflectors with an off-axis Sun-line. Abstract: This paper considers utilizing solar radiation pressure (SRP) to actively control the surface shape of a reflector consisting of a rigid hoop and slack membrane with embedded reflectivity control devices (RCDs). The full nonlinear static partial differential governing equations for a reflector with negligible elastic deformations are established
... for the circumferential, radial and transverse directions respectively, in which the SRP force with ideal /non-perfect models, the centripetal force caused by the rotation of the reflector and the internal stresses are considered. The inverse problem is then formulated by assuming that the required surface shape is known, and then the governing algebraic-differential equations used to determine the required surface reflectivity, together with the internal stresses where are presented accordingly. The validity of the approach is verified by comparing the results in this paper with corresponding published results as benchmarks. The feasible regions of the angular velocity and Sun angle for a paraboloidal reflector with an invariant radius and focal length (case 1), and the achievable focal lengths with a specific angular velocity and Sun angle (case 2) are presented for two SRP models respectively, both by considering the constraints on the reflectivity and internal stresses. It is then found that the feasible region is toward a larger angular velocity and Sun angle when using the non-perfect SRP model, compared with the ideal one in case 1. The angular velocity of the spinning reflector should be within a certain range to make the required reflectivity profiles within a practical range, i.e., [0, 0.88], as indicated from prior NASA solar sail studies. In case 2, it is found that the smallest achievable focal length of the reflector with the non-perfect SRP model is smaller than that with the ideal SRP model. It is also found that the stress level is extremely low for all cases considered and that the typical real material strength available for the reflector is sufficient to withstand these internal stresses.