Membrane paradox for solar sails


Journal Article

A study was conducted to investigate membrane paradox for solar sails. The study particularly provided a framework for analyzing the stability of a restrained solar sail membrane where the aspect ratio was large or the ratio of the tension on the bending stiffness was large. The results of these investigations were applied to explore the stability of a panel similar to the panels found on the Sunjammer solar sail. The Sunjammer used four inflatable booms to restrain the reflective membrane structure. The inflatable booms were connected by streamers at approximately 1mspacing and the sail material was connected to the booms and the streamers. The panel that lies between two streamers and in a single quadrant of the solar sail as a restrained rectangular plate/membrane that is pinned along its long edge were approximated, simulating the attachment to the streamers, and clamped and under tension along its short legs and the attachment to and the tension provided by the booms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gibbs, SC; Dowell, EH

Published Date

  • December 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 52 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 2904 - 2906

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0001-1452

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2514/1.J053320

Citation Source

  • Scopus