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Spacecraft deployable structures

Faculty of Engineering

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Prof G Aglietti Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

Deployable structures are typically used in space application, to enable the launch of equipment whose size in operation in orbit, exceeds the volume available in the launch vehicle. Solar arrays, and antennas are typical examples of structures that are launched in a stowed configuration and deployed once in orbit. However, a more compact launch configuration would be beneficial for a variety of other equipment, such as optical instruments (e.g. cameras / telescopes) which typically utilize large cylindrical elements such as barrels and baffles that could be stowed during launch and deployed to the required size once in orbit.

Telescopic configurations are a typical solution, but there are alternatives, and there is a variety of options available to drive the deployment of such structures. This project will explore novel configurations and techniques that allow compact stowing for launch, and reliable and precise deployment in orbit.

The project will include elements of design, development of mathematical models to explore the design space and significant experimental activity.

For more information, contact Prof. G Aglietti: (, Director - Space Institute -Te Pūnaha Ātea (

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