Studies on a Novel Compliant Deployable Mechanism
This paper investigates the deployment of stacks of three legged single degree of freedom parallel deployable mechanisms. All the revolute joints in the stacks are replaced with single axis exural hinges. This minimizes the number of components and eliminates friction and backlash in the joints. Constant stiffness springs are used to model the compliant hinges. The novelty of this work is that it brings out a methodology for determining the stiffness of the exures in each stack such that as they deploy, the individual stacks latch and rigidise progressively from the basal end which is crucial for structural stability of the deploying system. This paper also discusses the deployment controlled by a tether (string) attached at the center of the topmost stack to regulate its motion.