A rigid and flexible structures combined deployable boom for space exploration


This paper presents a deployable boom which combines a rigid telescopic frame and a flexible tape spring. The front end of the spring is fixed on the rear end of the innermost segment of the frame. The spring spreads and rolls up inside the frame to drive the segments to move one by one to realize the boom deployment and retraction. The driving forces needed to deploy and retract the frame are modeled and simulated. The feasibility of the frame driving by only one spring is also studied. A 1.6 kg prototype system with 2.1 m total deployment length is implemented. Experimental results show the maximum driving forces for deployment and retraction of the frame are about 9.1 N and 6.8 N respectively. The boom is able to deploy in 76 s with energy consumption of 315 J. The boom can resist at least 15 N force axially and 31.5 N·m bending moment when the forces are acted on its front end. Advantages of this kind of boom enable it to be applied for instruments deployment, walking and sampling assists, and robotic arms design in space exploration.

DOI: 10.1109/IROS.2016.7759452

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@article{Zhang2016ARA, title={A rigid and flexible structures combined deployable boom for space exploration}, author={Jun Zhang and Aiguo Song and Xiaonong Xu and Wei Lu}, journal={2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)}, year={2016}, pages={2920-2926} }