Opterus Research and Development, Inc. proposes to develop and validate multi-scale thin-ply High Strain Composites (HSCs) constitutive modeling tools for incorporation into commercial finite element analysis codes. The constitutive models will capture the time-temperature-load-deformation viscoelastic characteristics common to HSCs as well as the yielding or permanent deformation associated with the large strains HSC materials are subjected to. The two main program components are 1) characterization of thin-ply HSCs through extensive testing and 2) multi-scale modeling of thin-ply HSCs at the constituent (matrix and fiber), lamina, and laminate levels. Of particular interest are modeling and characterizing the unique behaviors of highly spread tow woven textile HSCs. This combination of characterization and modeling will enable validated engineering tools to allow the predictive design of thin-ply HSC structures.
Applications include thin-ply deployable composite hinges and booms for small satellites. These include double-omega, shearless, slit-tube, tape-spring, and TRAC booms rolled on small diameter hubs. Laminate thinness allows several meters of boom to be stored within the 100 mm diameter limit of a 1U CubeSat. Booms can then be used to deploy solar sails, reflectors, antennas, solar arrays, sun-shades, deorbit sails, sensor booms, etc. Thin-ply composites are broadly applicable to all NASA missions involving deployable structures and HSCs.
Applications include solar sails, reflectors, antennas, solar arrays, deorbit sails, sensor booms, etc. The technology is enabling for high compaction, light weight systems and supports development processes that are faster and lower cost. Savings are achieved through a reduction in testing because system performance can be predicted more accurately prior to prototype fabrication.