A Multifunctional Bistable Ultrathin Composite Boom for In-Space Monitoring of Deployment Dynamics

Yao Yao, Alexander Ambruso, Juan M Fernandez, Sven G Bilén, Xin Ning

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A novel concept of a multifunctional deployable ultrathin composite boom with flexible electronics and circuits integrated in a highly compact configuration, which can monitor its deployment dynamics in space, is presented in this paper. This concept is particularly suitable for CubeSats with extremely limited payload volume. The multifunctional deployable boom will be flight hardware installed in a 3U CubeSat that is scheduled to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2023 as an in-space technology demonstration. The multifunctional boom consists of a bistable self-deployable ultrathin composite boom, flexible electronics and circuitry for dynamics monitoring, and embedded flexible thin wires for power delivery and data transmission. The design, materials, and fabrication methods for the multifunctional boom are presented. Tests in simulated space environments showed the survivability and stability of the flexible electronics within a temperature range of 7 °C to 50 °C and under a high vacuum level of approximately 1 × 10^−6 Torr. Ground-based vibration and deployment tests demonstrated the overall design of the multifunctional boom, data acquisition system, and deployment mechanism. Analyses of the data obtained from the integrated flexible electronics successfully captured the deployment dynamics and identified the natural frequencies of the boom in the range of 0–100 Hz. These results demonstrate that the concept is a promising approach to future multifunctional ultrathin deployable space structures.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 19 2023
Externally publishedYes


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