Shape memory alloys (SMAs), are a class of metals that possess the capability to recover substantial deformations resulting from applied mechanical loads through a solid-solid phase transformation. Typical deployment systems for solar arrays on microsats only allow for one-way deployment. However, by using an SMA actuator in place of a conventional deployment system, repeatable deployment and retraction can be achieved. Relative to conventional actuators, SMA-based solid state actuators offer a reduction in the weight, volume, and overall complexity of the system. In this study, a design of an SMA-based solar panel deployment mechanism for a typical microsat is presented. In this design, a conventional actuation system is replaced with a system of SMA torsional actuators, which allows for a deployed and stowed phase to be reached independent of environmental conditions. This design study illustrates that an SMA-based solar array deployment system can provide a viable replacement for a conventional deployment system while significantly reducing the deployment system weight, volume, and complexity.
- Aerospace Division
Design of a Reconfigurable SMA-Based Solar Array Deployment Mechanism
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Wheeler, R, Saunders, R, Pickett, K, Eckert, C, Stroud, H, Fink, T, Gakhar, K, Boyd, J, & Lagoudas, D. "Design of a Reconfigurable SMA-Based Solar Array Deployment Mechanism." Proceedings of the ASME 2015 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems. Volume 1: Development and Characterization of Multifunctional Materials; Mechanics and Behavior of Active Materials; Modeling, Simulation and Control of Adaptive Systems. Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. September 21–23, 2015. V001T02A010. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SMASIS2015-9040
Download citation file: