31 July 2003 Life cycle testing of viscoelastic materials for Hubble Space Telescope solar array 3 damper
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Abstract
During the March 2002 Servicing Mission by Space Shuttle (STS 109), the Hubble Space Telescope was refurbished with two new solar arrays that now provide all of its power. These arrays were built with viscoelastic/titanium dampers, integral to the supporting masts, which reduce the interaction of the wing bending modes with the Telescope. Damping of over 3% of critical was achieved. To assess the damper's ability to maintain nominal performance over the 10-year on-orbit design goal, material specimens were subjected to an accelerated life test. The test matrix consisted of scheduled events to expose the specimens to pre-determined combinations of temperatures, frequencies, displacement levels, and numbers of cycles. These exposure events were designed to replicate the life environment of the damper from fabrication through testing to launch and life on-orbit. To determine whether material degradation occurred during the exposure sequence, material performance was evaluated before and after the accelerated aging with complex stiffness measurements. Based on comparison of pre- and post-life-cycle measurements, the material is expected to maintain nominal performance through end of life on-orbit. Recent telemetry from the Telescope indicates that the dampers are performing flawlessly.
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Joseph R. Maly, Joseph R. Maly, Benjamin B Reed, Benjamin B Reed, Michael J. Viens, Michael J. Viens, Bradford H. Parker, Bradford H. Parker, Scott C. Pendleton, Scott C. Pendleton, } "Life cycle testing of viscoelastic materials for Hubble Space Telescope solar array 3 damper", Proc. SPIE 5052, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Damping and Isolation, (31 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.483980; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.483980
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