Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures Virginia Tech Blacksburg United States
Lightweight inflatable structures, or Gossamer spacecraft. are very attractive in aerospace applications for several reasons. These structures pose difficult problems, however, in modeling and in control due to their special geometry and material properties. Initially, the proposed work was to examine the nonlinear structural dynamics of an inflated torus with a membrane attached to it for the purpose of providing suitable models for the application of nonlinear control. This workaward commenced in April 2003. In March 2004, after a site visit by the AFOSR Program Manager, the focus of this effort was changed to correspond more closely with AFRL interests. In particular, after conversations with AFRLDEBS and AFRLVSSV, both of Kirtland AFB, the focus of the proposed effort was changed to exmined the structural dynamics of a pressurized membrane with the goal of providing a sound modeling and theoretical understanding of the coupled structure, fluid, optical and control hardware of AFRLDEBSs proposed system. The following is a brief report of our activities over 11 months of funding. The section numbers correspond to the categories requested on the AFOSR website for progress reports.