Development of Composite Optical Bench Structures on a Satellite Considering Launch and Space Environments
Satellite structural components must be able to withstand various loading and environments that will experience during integration, tests, transportation, launch, and on-orbit operation. A polymeric composite optical bench that fixes delicate optical payloads such as a camera or a telescope was developed based on static strength, thermal deformation, and vibration. The optical bench consists of composite sandwich panels with and without a hole and composite struts with end fittings. In this paper, the optimum stacking sequence of the composite optical bench was calculated to minimize severe thermal deformations during orbital operation using a genetic algorithm and the finite element analysis. Then, the optimum design is evaluated whether it withstands launch loads (high inertia, vibration, etc.), that are not usually significant compared to orbital thermal loadings, or not. The thermal deformation of sandwich panels was minimized at the stacking sequence of [0/±45]s and that of composite struts was lowest at the angle of [02/90]s. There was no buckling in the compressive loading. By vibration analysis, the natural frequencies of the composite components were much higher than aluminum structures (i.e., sandwich panel: 10.7%; strut: 27.79%) and the stiffness condition expected was satisfied. Then, a composite optical bench was fabricated for tests and all analyses results were verified by structural testing. There were good correlations between two results. To increase the structural stiffness, several Nitinol shape memory alloy wires installed on it and the natural frequencies were measured.
J.K. Kim, D.Z. Wo, L.M. Zhou, H.T. Huang, K.T. Lau and M. Wang
C. Kim et al., "Development of Composite Optical Bench Structures on a Satellite Considering Launch and Space Environments", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 334-335, pp. 457-460, 2007