Wirelessly controllable inflated electroactive polymer (EAP) reflectors

Xiaoqi Bao, Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Zensheu Chang, Stewart Sherrit, Mircea Badescu, Yoseph Bar-Cohen
2005 Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)  
Inflatable membrane reflectors are attractive for deployable, large aperture, lightweight optical and microwave systems in micro-gravity space environment. However, any fabrication flaw or temperature variation may results in significant aberration of the surface. Even for a perfectly fabricated inflatable membrane mirror with uniform thickness, theory shows it will form a Hencky curve surface rather than the desired parabolic or spherical surface. Precision control of the surface shape of
more » ... mely flexible membrane structures is a critical challenge for the success of this technology. Wirelessly controllable inflated reflectors made of electroactive polymers (EAP) are proposed in this paper. A finite element model was configured to predict the behavior of the inflatable EAP membranes under pre-strains, pressures and distributed electric charges on the surface. To explore the controllability of the inflatable EAP reflectors, an iteration algorithm was developed to find the required applied electric field distribution for correcting the aberration of a Hencky curve to the desired parabolic curve. The correction capability of the reflectors with available EAP materials was explored numerically and is presented in this paper.
doi:10.1117/12.599787 fatcat:wsajo4jy6jh47pvsfozuohpgie