1301. Weight Optimization of Ultra Large Space Structures


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R P Reinert: 1301. Weight Optimization of Ultra Large Space Structures. 1979.



This paper describes the optimization of a solar power satellite structure for minimum mass and system cost.
The solar power satellite is representative of a class of ultra large low frequency and lightly damped space structures. A photo voltaic solar array approximately 13 miles (21.4km) long and 3.3 miles (5.3 km) wide collects D.C. power which is converted to microwaves at 2.5 GHz and transmitted to Earth from two 0.6 mile (1km) diameter phased array antennas.
Derivation of structural design requirements for the satellite structure has required investigation of many new areas. Outstanding requirements include accommodation of gravity gradient torques which impose primary loads on the structure; life of up to 100 years in the rigorous geosynchronous orbit radiation environment, :and prevention of continuous wave motion in solar array blankets suspended from a huge, lightly damped structure subject to periodic excitations. Selection of an approach to the satellite structuraldesignhasrequiredbothparametricstudyofstructuralconfigurations and consideration of the fabrication and assembly techniques available; trade studies in the areas of construction base sizing ,fabrication in low Earth orbit vs fabrication in geosynchronous orbit, and methods of orbit to; orbit transfer have led to selection of a planar hexahedral truss structure configuration.
With the baseline structural arrangement selected, parametric studies were used to minimize the mass of the individual structural elements. The final structure meets all design requirements at a structural mass fraction of 10%.


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