19 April 2017 Structural health monitoring of inflatable structures for MMOD impacts
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Abstract
Inflatable structures for space habitat are highly prone to damage caused by micrometeoroid and orbital debris impacts. Although the structures are effectively shielded against these impacts through multiple layers of impact resistant materials, there is a necessity for a health monitoring system to monitor the structural integrity and damage state within the structures. Assessment of damage is critical for the safety of personnel in the space habitat, as well as predicting the repair needs and the remaining useful life of the habitat. In this paper, we propose a unique impact detection and health monitoring system based on hybrid nanocomposite sensors. The sensors are composed of two fillers, carbon nanotubes and coarse graphene platelets with an epoxy matrix material. The electrical conductivity of these flexible nanocomposite sensors is highly sensitive to strains as well as presence of any holes and damage in the structure. The sensitivity of the sensors to the presence of 3mm holes due to an event of impact is evaluated using four point probe electrical resistivity measurements. An array of these sensors when sandwiched between soft good layers in a space habitat can act as a damage detection layer for inflatable structures. An algorithm is developed to determine the event of impact, its severity and location on the sensing layer for active health monitoring.
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Muhammad Anees, Audrey Gbaguidi, Daewon Kim, Sirish Namilae, "Structural health monitoring of inflatable structures for MMOD impacts", Proc. SPIE 10169, Nondestructive Characterization and Monitoring of Advanced Materials, Aerospace, and Civil Infrastructure 2017, 101690D (19 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2260195; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260195
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