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The Suaineadh project: a stepping stone towards the deployment of large flexible structures in space

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Disciplines
  • Communication
  • Design

Abstract

The Suaineadh project aims at testing the controlled deployment and stabilization of space web. The deployment system is based on a simple yet ingenious control of the centrifugal force that will pull each of the four daughters sections apart. The four daughters are attached onto the four corners of a square web, and will be released from their initial stowed configuration attached to a central hub. Enclosed in the central hub is a specifically designed spinning reaction wheel that controls the rotational speed with a closed loop control fed by measurements from an onboard inertial measurement sensor. Five other such sensors located within the web and central hub provide information on the surface curvature of the web, and progression of the deployment. Suaineadh is currently at an advanced stage of development: all the components are manufactured with the subsystems integrated and are presently awaiting full integration and testing. This paper will present the current status of the Suaineadh project and the results of the most recent set of tests. In particular, the paper will cover the overall mechanical design of the system, the electrical and sensor assemblies, the communication and power systems and the spinning wheel with its control system.

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