Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Sharan Asundi

Committee Director

Oleksandr Kravchenko

Committee Member

Tian-Bing Xu


To maximize the capabilities of nano- and micro-class satellites, which are limited by their size, weight, and power, advancements in deployable mechanisms with a high deployable surface area to packaging volume ratio are necessary. Without progress in understanding the mechanics of high-strain materials and structures, the development of compact deployable mechanisms for this class of satellites would be difficult. This research focuses on fabrication, experimental testing, and progressive failure modelling to study the deformation of an ultra-thin composite beam. The research study examines deformation modes of a boom under repetitive pure bending loads using 4-point bending setup. The material and fabrication challenges for Ultra-thin, High Stiffness (UTHS) Composite Boom are discussed in detail. Continuum Damage Mechanics (CDM) model for the beam is calibrated using experimental data and used for a finite element explicit analysis of the boom. It is shown that UTHS can sustain high bending radius of 14 mm without significant fiber and matrix damage. The results of the simulation were found to closely match the experimental results, indicating that the simulation accurately predicts damage in the material. The findings of this research provide a better understanding of the deformation characteristics of the boom and can be used for designing UTHS deployable structures.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).