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Open AccessArticle

Shape Memory Activated Self-Deployable Solar Sails: Small-Scale Prototypes Manufacturing and Planarity Analysis by 3D Laser Scanner

1
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy
2
Industrial Engineering Department, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via del Politecnico 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
3
Civil Engineering and Computer Science Department, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via del Politecnico 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Actuators 2019, 8(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/act8020038
Received: 13 April 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 3 May 2019
Solar sails are propellantless systems where the propulsive force is given by the momentum exchange of reflecting photons. Thanks to the use of shape memory alloys for the self-actuation of the system, complexity of the structure itself has decreased and so has the weight of the whole structure. Four self-deploying systems based on the NiTi shape memory wires have been designed and manufactured in different configurations (wires disposal and folding number). The deployed solar sails surfaces have been acquired by a Nextengine 3D Laser Scanner based on the Multistripe Triangulation. 3D maps have been pre-processed through Geomagic Studio and then elaborated in the Wolfram Mathematica environment. The planarity degree has been evaluated as level curves from the regression plane highlighting marked differences between the four configurations and locating the vertices as the most critical zones. These results are useful in the optimization of the best folding solution both in the weight/surface reduction and in the planarity degree of the solar sail. View Full-Text
Keywords: shape memory alloy; solar sail; nitinol; laser scanner shape memory alloy; solar sail; nitinol; laser scanner
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Boschetto, A.; Bottini, L.; Costanza, G.; Tata, M.E. Shape Memory Activated Self-Deployable Solar Sails: Small-Scale Prototypes Manufacturing and Planarity Analysis by 3D Laser Scanner. Actuators 2019, 8, 38.

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