López Díez, Jesús and Chimeno Manguan, Marcos and Simon, F. and Santiago Prowald, Julián B. and Wijker, J.J. and García Echebarria, J. and Fernandez, M.J.
Air gap influence on the vibro-acoustic response of Solar Arrays during launch.
In: "20th International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2010", 23/08/2010 - 27/08/2010, Sydney, Australia.
One of the primary elements on the space missions is the electrical power subsystem, for which the critical component is the solar array. The behaviour of these elements during the ascent phase of the launch is critical for avoiding damages on the solar panels, which are the primary source of energy for the satellite in its final configuration. The vibro-acoustic response to the sound pressure depends on the solar array size, mass, stiffness and gap thickness. The stowed configuration of the solar array consists of a multiple system composed of structural elements and the air layers between panels. The effect of the air between panels on the behaviour of the system affects the frequency response of the system not only modifying the natural frequencies of the wings but also as interaction path between the wings of the array. The usual methods to analyze the vibro-acoustic response of structures are the FE and BE methods for the low frequency range and the SEA formulation for the high frequency range. The main issue in the latter method is, on one hand, selecting the appropriate subsystems, and, on the other, identifying the parameters of the energetic system: the internal and coupling loss factors. From the experimental point of view, the subsystems parameters can be identified by exciting each subsystem and measuring the energy of all the subsystems composing the Solar Array. Although theoretically possible, in practice it is difficult to apply loads on the air gaps. To analyse this situation, two different approaches can be studied depending on whether the air gaps between the panels are included explicitly in the problem or not. For a particular case of a solar array of three wings in stowed configuration both modelling philosophies are compared. This stowed configuration of a three wing solar arrays in stowed configuration has been tested in an acoustic chamber. The measured data on the solar wings allows, in general, determining the loss factors of the configuration. The paper presents a test description and measurements on the structure, in terms of the acceleration power spectral density. Finally, the performance of each modelling technique has been evaluated by comparison between simulations with experimental results on a spacecraft solar array and the influence on the apparent properties of the system in terms of the SEA loss factors has been analysed