Conceptual design and finite element method validation of a new type of self-locking hinge for deployable CubeSat solar panels

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Abstract

Deployable mechanisms in CubeSat satellites have many problems with the system that provides the anchor position. The main defect of the traditional deployment mechanisms for solar panels in CubeSats is the lack of position system to block the back-driving of the panel when it reaches the final phase of the deployment. This generates spurious oscillations in the panel, affecting the photovoltaic process as well as generating fatigue in the mechanical elements of the mechanism (hinge or pin). In this work, the design, analysis and manufacture of a deployment mechanism for CubeSat solar panels is shown. A finite element method analysis was carried out in a hinge with an integrated blocking system as well as a double torsion spring, which can be used on CubeSats. The outcome shows the layout of the described anchor hinge and the used double-torsion spring, which provides a positive direction torque transfer. Likewise, the performed numerical analyses on the designed system, reduce the weight and optimise the geometry of the mechanism, showing its feasibility as well as the potential applications and further research in the area.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Mechanical Engineering
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

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Keywords

  • CubeSat
  • Deployable
  • hinge
  • mechanism
  • solar panels
  • torsion spring

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