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Characterizing lightweight and dimensionally ultra stable structures for space applications

Spannagel, Ruven and Schuldt, Thilo and Golke, Martin and Sanjuan, Jose and Messerschmidtt, Boris and Lucarelli, Stefano and Johann, Ulrich and Weisen, Dennis and Braxmaier, Claus (2013) Characterizing lightweight and dimensionally ultra stable structures for space applications. 64th International Astronautical Congress, Beijing, China, 3-7.09.2013, Beijing, China.

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Lightweight and dimensionally ultra stable materials and structures are becoming more and more important for spaced based applications. For scientific and earth observation missions, instruments with ultra high precision requiring ultra-stable structural materials are necessary to achieve the mission goals. Ultra stable glass ceramics exhibit a very good behavior in terms of dimensional stability, but its huge mass is a disadvantage. Composite materials like CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) are lightweight and their CTEs (coefficient of thermal expansion) are tunable to be low at a specific temperature. On the other hand these composite materials are changing their geometry during time and environmental situations caused by outgassing. Structures combining the stiffness and lightweight properties of CFRP and the dimensional stability of Zerodur are a key technology for future space missions. Building such structures and measuring their stability are both challenging tasks. Our focus is to measure the dimensional stability of lightweight and dimensionally stable structures for LISA/NGO and GRACE-FO. We characterized an optical breadboard consisting of two 5 mm thick Zerodur plates connected via a CFRP honeycomb structure leading to a weight reduction of 70%. For GRACE-FO the thermal stability of the triple mirror assembly (TMA) of the laser ranging instrument consisting of a 0.5 m CFRP spacer and Zerodur endfittings on each side was characterized. For these measurements a new facility was built. To measure the CTE of the structures a heterodyne interferometer is used to detect the expansion of the device under test. Two beams are reflected at two mirrors attached representatively to the structure on each side. The noise level of our interferometer was demonstrated to be below 2pm/sqrt(Hz) ensuring an ultra-high sensitivity of our measurements. The temperature is measured using PT100 sensors. Temperature changes are applied radiatively by a heating system in vacuum. In this paper, we present our new measurement facility and first measurements of the dimensional stability of the GRACE-FO TMA.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/88185/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Characterizing lightweight and dimensionally ultra stable structures for space applications
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Schuldt, ThiloDLR- RY, Germany, 6University of Applied Sciences Konstanz, Institute for Optical Systems, 78462 Konstanz, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Messerschmidtt, BorisAstrium GmbH–Satellites, Friedrichshafen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lucarelli, StefanoAstrium GmbH–Satellites, Friedrichshafen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Johann, UlrichAstrium GmbH–Satellites, Friedrichshafen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Weisen, DennisAstrium GmbH–Satellites, Friedrichshafen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Braxmaier, ClausDLR-RY, ZARM, University of Bremen,1Astrium GmbH–Satellites, 88039 Friedrichshafen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:September 2013
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), CTE measurement, dimensionally stable structures, optical dilatometry
Event Title:64th International Astronautical Congress, Beijing, China
Event Location:Beijing, China
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:3-7.09.2013
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:other
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R - no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - no assignment
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Systems Enabling Technologies
Deposited By: Aguilera, Deborah
Deposited On:13 Feb 2014 10:07
Last Modified:08 May 2014 23:20

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