1303. Structural Design of Free-Flying Solar-Reflecting Satellites


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J M Hedgepeth, K K Knapp, L A Finley: 1303. Structural Design of Free-Flying Solar-Reflecting Satellites. 1979, (L. R. ‘Mike’ Hackney Award).



A promising spacecraft configuration for utilizing solar radiation is the large flat mirror. Very thin membranes with a reflective coating can be stretched to form such a mirror; the mirror mass density can therefore be very small. The purpose of the presentation is to examine the fundamentals of providing structural support for a free-flying membrane mirror. The objective of the examination is to determine what the masses of the structure might be to support membranes of areas from thousands to millions of square meters operating at altitudes from low-earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit.


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