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Application of SMAs in modern spacecraft and devices

By A. Razov and A. Cherniavsky


The use of shape memory alloys in spacecraft and devices was suggested practically as soon as the first materials of this type had been discovered and investigations of their unique functional and mechanical properties had begun. However, various reasons led to a more than 30-years delay in realization of ideas in devices and constructions that were launched to the space. The first of the devices – the drives to unfold a transformable construction – were installed on the Russian spacecraft Progress-40 only in 1989. Conservative attitude of engineers, designers and those heading the space industry was overcome. Since then, materials with shape memory effect (SME) were applied in the different space vehicles: on the orbital station Mir, the spacecraft Clementine the satellites MightySat I, FalconSat, others satellites, aboard the space shuttle Columbia, the Mars rover Sojourner. Designers of spacecraft have shown a considerable interest in materials with shape memory effect in the last five years. As of today, various devices using SME are being developed, for example, for the Helios2 telescope, Rosetta/Midas, Soho, Cassini projects, for the International Space Station

Publisher: EDP Sciences
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1051/jp4:20031091
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