SDC Developing In Situ Space Manufacturing Capability
SAN DIEGO, CA, June 2016 - San Diego Composites, Inc. (SDC) has received an SBIR Phase II contract from the NASA Langley Research Center to design and build a prototype Advanced Composite Truss (ACT) Printing System. SDC’s truss printing system manufactures lightweight composite trusses in situ after launch.
SDC’s Advanced Composite Truss Printing System
The Gen I design of the ACT structure, ACT printer, and ACT deployment system allows for the fabrication of solar arrays as large as 1 MW in space. The deployment of the ACT technology will enable solar electric propulsion (SEP) throughout NASA’s future mission roadmap, including a potential mission to Mars.
SDC's overall concept for solar array deployment relies on ACT structures that are extruded and wound after launch and utilize no mechanical joints. The ACT structures consist of stringers that run along the length of the structure, inner helical fiber tows that are wrapped clockwise, and outer helical fiber tows that are wrapped counter-clockwise.
ACT Truss Structure Wound by SDC
In the SBIR Phase I program, SDC manufactured prototype structures that mimic the trusses manufactured by the ACT Printing System. The structural mechanics of the prototype structures were tested statically and dynamically with the test results used to correlate a finite element model of the truss structure. The modeling approach will be applied to full-scale ACT structures. In Phase II, SDC will perform a full-scale solar array deployment demonstration on a full-scale ACT structure manufactured by the full-scale additive manufacturing ACT printer.
SDC Used Subscale Structural Testing to Correlate to a Finite Element Model
For more information about the ACT Printing System or SDC’s winding capabilities, contact Quinn McAllister at (858) 751-0450 or email@example.com.