Deployment and Stabilisation of a Space Web in Micro-Gravity

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Suaineadh Proposal for REXUS 11/12 campaign

The Suaineadh experiment has the purpose to prove the concept of deploying and stabilising a space web in micro-gravity by means of the centrifugal forces acting on the spinning assembly which is ejected from the nosecone of the REXUS rocket. Controlled web deployment and stabilisation will be achieved by an active control method. This new approach has the potential of drastically simplifying the design of a Furoshiki net while enhancing its stability. The experiment will provide an enormous scientific return on the behaviour of a centrifugally deployed and stabilised large structure in space. The experiment can be split into two distinct sections; the ejectable section (CHAD (Central Hub And Daughters)) and the data storage section (DAST (Data Acquisition and Storage)) onboard REXUS. The ejectable section (CHAD) carries out all mission operations, including web deployment and stabilisation. CHAD consists of the central hub, a square web (2m x 2m) and four corners masses (daughters) attached to the web. Prior to the deployment; the web and corner masses are wrapped around the central hub. The ejection of the system from the REXUS rocket occurs at an altitude of approximately 62 km. Three institutions (University of Strathclyde, University of Glasgow and KTH Royal Institute of Technology), with more than 15 students, are working together to achieve the goal of designing, manufacturing and testing of the whole Suaineadh experiment in order to successfully launch the experiment on board of REXUS 11/12.

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