28 July 2003 Numerical modeling of single-layer electroactive polymer mirrors for space applications
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Abstract
Thin-film mirrors are attractive for large aperture, lightweight optical system and microwave antennas operating in micro-gravity space. The surface shape of these deployable thin film structures requires control to a precision range that depends on the specific applications. For optical systems, such surfaces need to be deployed and refined in the range of submicrons. Electroactive polymers (EAP) are potential candidates for making such thin film materials. Generally, EAPs are produced in thin film form with electrodes on their major surfaces. Depending on the reflectivity of the electrodes and surface roughness of the polymer they can also be produced with mirror finishes. A controllable mirror made of single-layer EAP mirror is proposed in this paper. An analytical solution of required voltage/strain distribution for forming a parabolic mirror from a planar film is presented. Calculations show a single layer film made of currently available EAP has the capability to control the focus distance of a 2-m mirror from infinity to 1.25 m. The results are verified by FEM model.
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Xiaoqi Bao, Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Zensheu Chang, Stewart Sherrit, "Numerical modeling of single-layer electroactive polymer mirrors for space applications", Proc. SPIE 5051, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (28 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484399; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.484399
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