12 April 2017 Macro-fiber composites under thermal cycles for space applications
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Macro-Fiber Composites (MFCs) are a piezoelectric material typically employed in applications ranging from vibration damping to actuation to structural health monitoring. These composites have flown in space but only with thermal protection and for a short duration. They have not been significantly tested under thermally cyclic conditions similar to those they would experience in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) without shielding. Research has shown that the performance of MFCs varies when the MFC undergoes a thermal cycle. This paper outlines an autonomous experiment that will be able to run impedance measurements and actuate MFCs, further testing their performance in a space environment where thermal cycles are common. This will be installed on a CubeSat and flown to LEO where it will collect data and downlink it back for study. Details of the layout of the experiments and electronic systems being used on the CubeSat for the payload are presented alongside future steps that need to be taken to ensure a successful flight.
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Krystal L. Acosta, Krystal L. Acosta, Jared D. Hobeck, Jared D. Hobeck, Robert B. Owen, Robert B. Owen, Daniel J. Inman, Daniel J. Inman, } "Macro-fiber composites under thermal cycles for space applications", Proc. SPIE 10168, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2017, 101683E (12 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2259804; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2259804

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