A document describes the design of a lightweight (between 100 to 200 kg), light-tight shroud of about 3.9 meters in diameter that could be stowed into a very small volume, and be deployed to 12 meters. The shroud will consist of two concentric multi-layer blankets (MLIs) that are constructed in an accordion shape. The blankets have 2-mil (≈50 μm) Kapton outer layers, and several ¼-mil (≈6.4-μm) thick inner layers with Dacron netting scrim cloth. The two blankets are separated by 10 cm that creates a “Whipple Shield” effect that reduces the number of micrometeorite penetrations from thousands to less than 30 over the satellite’s expected ten-year lifetime.
A 1/25th scale model of a shroud was constructed. It consists of nine flat sections with pleats and individual corner pieces that are taped between the flat sections. The 18 pleated folds are 19 mm wide. Hexagonal corner pieces are taped between the facets and work better if they are thinner than the bulk of the blanket.
A full-scale section of a shroud has been made to provide insights into the design, stowage, and handling issues. A complete shroud of 29 pleats will stow to 174 mm with no compression. The accordion-style construction allows the shroud to be stowed into a channel that is less than 20 cm tall and 30 cm wide.
This work was done by David W. Robinson of Goddard Space Flight Center. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Mechanics/Machinery category. GSC- 15779-1