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On the Kinematics of Solar Mirrors Using Massively Parallel Binary Actuation

[+] Author Affiliations
Seung J. Lee, Amy M. Bilton, Steven Dubowsky

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. DETC2010-28875, pp. 1177-1186; 10 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 34th Annual Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4410-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3881-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Precision mirrors are required for effective solar energy collectors. Manufacturing such mirrors and making them robust to disturbances such as thermal gradients is expensive. In this paper, the use of parallel binary actuation to control the shape of mirrors for solar concentrators is explored. The approach embeds binary actuators in a compliant mirror substructure. Actuators are deployed in a specified pattern to correct the mirror shape. The analysis for binary-actuated compliant mirror structures is presented. Analytical models are developed for one-dimensional and two-dimensional compliant structures with embedded binary actuators. These analytical models are validated using finite element analysis and experimental studies. The models and experiments demonstrate the capabilities of binary actuated mirrors. System workspace is explored, the principle of superposition required for their control is demonstrated, as is the mirror ability to correct its figure.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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