22 July 2016 Tolerancing of a carbon fiber reinforced polymer metering tube structure of a high-resolution space-borne telescope
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Abstract
High resolution space borne telescopes require dimensionally stable structures to meet very stringent optical requirements. Furthermore, high resolution space borne telescope structures need to have high stiffness and be lightweight in order to survive launch loads. Carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) are lightweight and have tailorable mechanical properties like stiffness and coefficient of thermal expansion. However, mechanical properties are highly dependent on manufacturing processes and manufacturing precision. Moreover CFRP tend to absorb moisture which affects dimensional stability of the structure in the vacuum environment. In order to get specified properties out of manufacturing, tolerances need to be defined very accurately.

In this paper, behavior of CFRP metering tube structure of a high resolution space borne camera is investigated for ply orientation, fiber and void content deviations which may arise from manufacturing errors and limitations. A computer code is generated to determine laminate properties of stacked up uni-directional (UD) laminae using classical laminate theory with fiber and matrix properties obtained from suppliers and literature. After defining laminate stackup, many samples are virtually created with ply orientations, volumetric fiber and void content that randomly deviates in a tolerance range which will be used in manufacturing. Normal distribution, standard deviation and mean values are presented for elasticity modulus, coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), coefficient of moisture expansion (CME) and thermal conductivity in axial and transverse directions of quasi-isotropic stackups and other stackups which have properties presented in literature.
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Mustafa Ekinci, "Tolerancing of a carbon fiber reinforced polymer metering tube structure of a high-resolution space-borne telescope", Proc. SPIE 9912, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 99124V (22 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231406; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231406
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