Nanocomposite fabric sensors for monitoring inflatable and deployable space structures

Long Wang, Sumit Gupta, Kenneth J. Loh, Helen S. Koo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Inflatable deployable structures are practical and promising candidates for serving various aerospace missions, for instance, as solar sails, antennas, space suits, and especially Lunar and Mars habitats. These structures feature flexible composites folded at high packing efficiency, which can drastically reduce launch costs. However, they can also be damaged due to the harsh extraterrestrial operating conditions, which can propagate to cause catastrophic mission failure and endanger crew safety. Therefore, it is imperative to integrate a robust structural health monitoring (SHM) system, so that damage and faults can be detected for ensuring their safe and reliable operations. While a variety of SHM technologies have been developed for monitoring conventional, rigid, structural systems, they are faced with challenges when used for these unconventional flexible and inflatable systems. Therefore, a flexible carbon nanotube-fabric nanocomposite sensor is proposed in this study for monitoring the integrity of inflatable space structures. In particular, CNT-based thin films were fabricated by spraying and then integrated with flexible fabric to form the lightweight sensor. By coupling fabric sensors with an electrical impedance tomography (EIT) algorithm, the fabric's distribution of spatial resistivity can be mapped using only electrical measurements obtained along the material's boundaries. The severity and location of localized pressure and impact damage can be captured by observing changes in the EIT-calculated resistivity maps. They can be embedded in inflatable habitat structures to detect and locate abnormally high pressure regions and impact damage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultifunctional Materials; Mechanics and Behavior of Active Materials; Integrated System Design and Implementation; Structural Health Monitoring
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791850480
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventASME 2016 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, SMASIS 2016 - Stowe, United States
Duration: 2016 Sep 282016 Sep 30

Publication series

NameASME 2016 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, SMASIS 2016
Volume1

Conference

ConferenceASME 2016 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, SMASIS 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityStowe
Period16/9/2816/9/30

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant numbers CMMI CAREER-1253564 and CMMI-1200521. Partial support was also provided by the Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California, San Diego.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 by ASME.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials

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