The “flasher” pattern (an origami base that folds into a 3D structure that can be radially deployed into a 2D surface) has been recognized for its potential application in the deployment of large structures from relatively small volumes. Such structures can be internally deployed by smart materials or stored strain energy, or externally deployed by actuators or inertial forces. Various flasher folding patterns can be created by varying three basic geometric parameters: (1) the number of sides of the center polygon, (2) the number of rings comprising the array, and (3) the number of radially-distributed elements of each ring. In this paper, these three parameters are studied for their effect on dynamic performance, using multi-body dynamic (MBD) simulation software. As a basis for comparison, all the designs are held to the same surface area in the deployed flat state. Each MBD model is created automatically by a series of previously reported scripts that transform a crease pattern into a fully defined engineering model. The primary focus is to investigate the variation of (a) the deployment time, (b) reaction torque at the center of the flasher, (c) force and torque distribution in the entire structure, (d) bending angle of the panels, and (e) rigid foldability. An experimental test-bed is also described, with provision of preliminary physical validation results. The overall effort provides insight to force distribution within the structure, which can guide the placement of integrated smart material actuators. The results also help in flasher design parameter decisions by giving insight into their effect on future applications such as star occulter designs, solar arrays, solar reflectors, sunshields, smallsat antennas, and solar sails.

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