Title page for ETD etd-05072002-180854

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ruggiero, Eric John
Author's Email Address erruggie@vt.edu
URN etd-05072002-180854
Title Active Dynamic Analysis and Vibration Control of Gossamer Structures Using Smart Materials
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Inman, Daniel J. Committee Chair
Leo, Donald Committee Member
Robertshaw, Harry H. Committee Member
  • inflatable structures
  • piezoelectric
  • gossamer structures
  • MIMO
  • PPF control
  • modal
Date of Defense 2002-05-07
Availability unrestricted
Increasing costs for space shuttle missions translate to smaller, lighter, and more flexible satellites that maintain or improve current dynamic requirements. This is especially true for optical systems and surfaces. Lightweight, inflatable structures, otherwise known as gossamer structures, are smaller, lighter, and more flexible than current satellite technology. Unfortunately, little research has been performed investigating cost effective and feasible methods of dynamic analysis and control of these structures due to their inherent, non-linear dynamic properties. Gossamer spacecraft have the potential of introducing lenses and membrane arrays in orbit on the order of 25 m in diameter. With such huge structures in space, imaging resolution and communication transmissibility will correspondingly increase in orders of magnitude.

A daunting problem facing gossamer spacecraft is their highly flexible nature. Previous attempts at ground testing have produced only localized deformation of the structure’s skin rather than excitation of the global (entire structure’s) modes. Unfortunately, the global modes are necessary for model parameter verification. The motivation of this research is to find an effective and repeatable methodology for obtaining the dynamic response characteristics of a flexible, inflatable structure. By obtaining the dynamic response characteristics, a suitable control technique may be developed to effectively control the structure’s vibration. Smart materials can be used for both active dynamic analysis as well as active control. In particular, piezoelectric materials, which demonstrate electro-mechanical coupling, are able to sense vibration and consequently can be integrated into a control scheme to reduce such vibration. Using smart materials to develop a vibration analysis and control algorithm for a gossamer space structure will fulfill the current requirements of space satellite systems. Smart materials will help spawn the next generation of space satellite technology.

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