Design of a deployment rotation mechanism for microsatellite

Gasser Abdelal, Abou Bakr Elhady, Mohamd Kassab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Solar array rotation mechanism provides a hinged joint between the solar panel and satellite body, smooth rota-tion of the solar array into deployed position and its fixation in this position. After unlocking of solar panel (while in orbit), rotation bracket turns towards ready-to-work position under the action of driving spring. During deployment, once reached the required operating angle (defined by power subsystem engineer), the rotation bracket collides with the fixed bracket that is mounted on body of the satellite, to stop rotation. Due to the effect of collision force that may alter the rotation mechanism function, design of centrifugal brake is essential. At stoppage moment micro-switches activate final position sensor and a stopper locks the rotation bracket. Design of spring and centrifugal brake components, static finite element stress analysis of primary structure body of rotation mechanism at stoppage moment have been obtained. Last, reliability analysis of rotation mechanism is evaluated. The benefit of this study is to aid in the design of rotation mechanism that can be used in micro-satellite applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-296
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal for Simulation and Multidisciplinary Design Optimization
Early online date26 Mar 2009
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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