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Design, Analysis, and On-Sun Evaluation of Reflective Strips Under Controlled BucklingSolar concentrators are envisioned for use in a variety of space-based applications, including applications involving in situ resource utilization. Identifying solar concentrators that minimize mass and cost are of great interest, especially since launch cost is driven in part by the mass of the payload. Concentrators must also be able to survive the wide temperature excursions on the lunar surface. Identifying smart structures which compensate for changes in concentrator geometry brought about by temperature extremes are of interest. Some applications may benefit from the ability to change the concentrator's focal pattern at will. This paper addresses a method of designing a single reflective strip to produce a desired focal pattern through the use of controlled buckling. Small variations in the cross section over the length of the reflective strip influence the distribution of light in the focal region. A finite element method of analysis is utilized here which calculates the curve produced for a given strip cross section and axial load. Varying axial force and strip cross section over the length of the reflective strip provide a means of optimizing ray convergence in the focal region. Careful selection of a tapered cross section yields a reflective strip that approximates a parabola. An array of reflective strips under controlled buckling produces a light weight concentrator and adjustments in the compression of individual strips provide a means of compensating for temperature excursions or changing the focal pattern at will.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Jaworske, D. A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Sechkar, E. A.
(ZIN Technologies, Inc. Brook Park, OH, United States)
Colozza, A. J.
(Vantage Partners, LLC Brook Park, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
January 5, 2015
Publication Date
January 13, 2014
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition
Location: National Harbor, MD
Country: United States
Start Date: January 13, 2014
End Date: January 17, 2014
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 203950.04.02.04
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
solar reflectors
solar collectors
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