Design of a Deployable Antenna Actuated by Shape Memory Alloy Hinge
This paper is concerned about a design of a new deployable antenna actuated by 6 shape memory alloy (SMA) hinges. The antenna consists of 6 radial, tensioned, parabolic, deployable ribs connecting to a central hub. The hinge, located at each rib, is used of the Nitinol SMA material due to the ability to generate large strains and electrical resistive actuation. The elongated SMA wire is heated by an electrical current, caused to contract in response to a converse thermally-induced phase transformation. The resulting tension creates a moment, imparting rotary motion between two adjacent beams. The concept and operation of deployable antenna system are discussed in detail, and a dynamic simulation is presented. A series of experiments are performed on the SMA actuator to investigate the system behavior in the process of deployment. Results indicated that the hinge with low speed rotation and easy fabrication achieves reliable actuation for the deployment of the antenna, and the antenna demonstrates a high deployment-to-stowage volume ratio.
Yafang Han et al.
X. Lan et al., "Design of a Deployable Antenna Actuated by Shape Memory Alloy Hinge", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 546-549, pp. 1567-1570, 2007