Analysis and damage sensitivity of design pathfinder for inflatable systems

Jared T. Fulcher, Suzanne Weaver Smith, John R. Baker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Engineered inflatable systems are designed to precisely control internal or external surfaces, or both, to achieve a desired response or structure. The dynamics and structure of inflatable systems are directly related to the configuration of interfacing boundaries. A design pathfinder for inflatable systems has been developed over the past three years and this paper presents nonlinear finite element (FE) simulations performed to evaluate the performance of the pathfinder and its sensitivity to imposed damage. The static deflection response of the design pathfinder was compared with performance standards for terrestrial and space-based radar reflectors and radar decoys. Further, damage was introduced as thread loss along seams of the internal structure of the design pathfinder. It was found that the design pathfinder met or exceeded all performance standards and the static response remained unchanged under a significant level of damage. The work presented in this paper verifies the development of the design pathfinder. Further, the methods used in development of the pathfinder can be used to improve efficiency of design and analysis techniques for future inflatable structures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2nd AIAA Spacecraft Structures Conference
ISBN (Electronic)9781624103452
StatePublished - 2015
Event2nd AIAA Spacecraft Structures Conference 2015 - Kissimmee, United States
Duration: Jan 5 2015Jan 9 2015

Publication series

Name2nd AIAA Spacecraft Structures Conference


Conference2nd AIAA Spacecraft Structures Conference 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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