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Publication - Dr Mark Schenk

    Inflatable Rigidisable Mast For End-Of-Life Deorbiting System


    Viquerat, AD, Schenk, M, Sanders, B & Lappas, V, 2014, ‘Inflatable Rigidisable Mast For End-Of-Life Deorbiting System’.


    An inflatable-rigidisable cylindrical mast was developed as part of the InflateSail technology demonstration mission. The light-weight deployable mast is inflated using a Cool Gas Generator (CGG). To ensure long-term structural performance after deployment, the boom is rigidised by removing the residual creases in the aluminium-laminate skin material through strain rigidisation. The 1 m long and 90 mm diameter mast is folded using an origami pattern, and in its stowed configuration takes up 63 mm of height in the InflateSail CubeSat structure. The benefits of this folding method include minimal material deformation during deployment, a compact stowed configuration, and an open cross-section to accommodate the rapid release of inflation gas. Deployment tests showed a repeatable deployment, with minimal deviation from the intended straight path. Post-deployment vibration experiments established the efficacy of strain-rigidisation in recovering the stiffness of the deployed boom. Experiments were also performed on fully rigidised booms to determine their bending and compression strengths.

    Full details in the University publications repository