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Active Membrane Using Electrostructure Graft Elastomer for Deployable and Lightweight Mirrors

[+] Author Affiliations
E. H. Yang

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

Y. Hishinuma

Fuji Film Corporation, Kaisei, Kanagawa, Japan

J. Su, T. B. Xu

NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

R. Morgan, Z. Chang

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Paper No. IMECE2007-43541, pp. 369-373; 5 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 10: Mechanics of Solids and Structures, Parts A and B
  • Seattle, Washington, USA, November 11–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4304-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3812-9
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


An important requirement enabling future space missions is the availability of very large, deployed, re-configurable apertures for high-resolution imaging. Membrane-based architectures have the potential for very low aerial densities, which will enable large aperture space telescopes. Two major requirements for considering large apertures are: 1) a high degree of surface control coupled with a low-mass deployable capability and 2) an optical quality membrane mirror technology. Current state-of-the-art deployable aperture technologies have significant limitations in their ability to correct the surface figure following deployment. In this paper, a controlled deformation of silicon membrane mirrors using electroactive polymer has been demonstrated to overcome these limitations. We have designed, modeled, and fabricated Electrostrictive Graft Elastomer (G-elastomer)-based bi-layer membranes. The bi-layer mirror membranes maintain a good working condition after thermal cyclic tests, performed at temperatures between −50 °C and 150 °C. G-elastomer provides means to drive and control the deflection and curvature of reflective membranes. Several G-elastomer-based bi-layer structures have been optically characterized. This concept can be scaled to a deployable ultra-large mirror with a self-reconfiguration capability.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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