Date of Award
Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Anthony N. Palazotto, PhD
AFIT is in the process of designing a Space Shuttle experiment designated as the Rigidized Inflatable Get-Away-Special Experiment (RIGEX) to study the effects of microgravity on the deployment of rigidizable composite structures. Once in space, the experiment will inflate and rigidize three composite structures and perform a vibration analysis on each by exciting the tubes using piezoelectric patches and collecting data via an accelerometer. This paper presents the structural and vibration analysis of the RIGEX assembly and inflatable composite tubes using ABAQUS Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software. Comparison of the analysis has been carried out with Eigenvalue/Eigenvector experimentation by means of ping testing. This FEA analysis has been used to verify the natural frequency and structural integrity of the RIGEX support assemblies. The ABAQUS FEA results correlated to within 20% of experimental values.
DTIC Accession Number
Holstein, Raymond G. III, "Structural Design and Analysis of a Rigidizable Space Shuttle Experiment" (2004). Theses and Dissertations. 3926.