Self-deployable booms made of flexible composites have been successfully used on spacecraft and are currently being designed into future satellite missions. Structures of this type have been proposed for decades, but their use has been limited by the difficulty of predicting their behavior in zero gravity conditions. It is now possible, however, to realistically simulate the operation of such structures using FEA software and micromechanical modeling. This article explains how boom designs for satellites are being refined using simulation data and validated by physical testing.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.