Precision Shape Control of Ultra-thin Shells with Strain Actuators

Document Type : Special Issue Paper


1 Department of Control Engineering and System Analysis, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB),‎ CP. 165-55, 50 Av. F.D. Roosevelt, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium‎

2 European Space Agency—ESA/ESTEC Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk ZH, The Netherlands‎


This paper is part of an effort conducted at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) on behalf of European Space Agency (ESA) to control the shape of thin polymer shell structures with a unimorph layer of strain actuators (Polyvinylidenefluoride-co-trifluoroethylene, PVDF-TrFE), to achieve high quality light-weight foldable reflectors for space observation. The paper discusses the influence of the electrode size on the morphing capability of the system and addresses the difficulty associated with the ill-conditioning when controlling a very large set of electrodes. The final part of the paper describes a technology demonstrator currently under development and presents some simulation results fitting low order optical modes.


Main Subjects

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