Accession Number : ADA306208

Title :   Development of a Prototype Plastic Space Erectable Satellite.

Descriptive Note : Contractor rept.,

Corporate Author : RAI RESEARCH CORP LONG ISLAND CITY NY

Personal Author(s) : D Agostino, Vincent F. ; Keusch, Preston

PDF Url : ADA306208

Report Date : SEP 1967

Pagination or Media Count : 223

Abstract : This report describes the work done and conclusions resulting in the development of procedures and data for construction of a prototype space erectable plastic passive communications satellite of spherical design with a diameter of 425 ft. using the plastic memory effect. Research has resulted in the development of a crosslinked polyethylene metal laminate weighing .00158 lbs./sq,ft. (resulting in a satellite weight of 896.6 lbs.) and capable of withstanding solar pressures when fabricated into a sphere with a 425 ft. diameter. Experimental data and theoretical calculation indicate that a 0.30 mil perforated polyethylene film electrolessly plated with .000015 inches of copper on both sides would be satisfactory to withstand buckling pressures within the weight conditions specified. Prototype items were constructed and delivered following a detailed testing program. The procedures necessary for the scale up and production of a 425 foot diameter spherical passive communications satellite were investigated. Recommendations for construction are detailed in this report. The results of the testing program and the building of the deliverable items (cap section, cylinders and flat sections) show that the cross linked polyethylene copper laminate film developed under this contract is satisfactory for building large, self erectable satellites. Although it was not possible to conclusively demonstrate the plastic memory effect, in a l-g field, on thin polyethylene (sub-mil) film models, the memory effect has been demonstrated on a 15 mil polyethylene mesh. Other tests (not using models) and based on firm theoretical grounds substantiate the existence of the memory effect in thin film polyethylene.

Descriptors :   *COMMUNICATION SATELLITES, *REFLECTORS, STRUCTURAL PROPERTIES, METAL FILMS, SPHERES, MESH, COPPER, LIGHTWEIGHT, TEMPERATURE CONTROL, PLASTICS, PERFORATION, POLYETHYLENE.

Subject Categories : Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE