Abstract

A traditional deployable articulated mast mechanism can only provide one-dimensional (1D) deploying-folding motion. This paper aims to investigate the design and analysis of a novel deployable articulated mast mechanism with two-dimensional (2D) deploying-folding motion. Firstly, the topological motion of deployable mast mechanisms can provide 2D deploying-folding motion is analyzed, and a potential rectangular prism linkage unit is presented to construct single degree-of-freedom (DOF) deployable mast mechanisms with 2D deploying-folding motion. Secondly, the kinematics of the new deployable mast mechanism is established based on its structural symmetry and modular features. Thirdly, the deploying dynamics of the new mechanism are built based on the Lagrange equation. Fourthly, the deployed/folded ratio, interference and singularity of the new mechanism are analyzed. Finally, a numerical example is used to illustrate the effectiveness of the theoretical analysis, and a physical prototype is developed to show the fabrication feasibility of the new deployable mechanism. Compared with the traditional counterparts with 1D deploying-folding motion, the new deployable mast mechanism has a larger deployed/folded ratio, which has a good application prospect in space missions to support solar arrays, magnetometers, cameras and antennas.

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