Piezoelectric polymers actuators for precise shape control of large scale space antennas

Qin Chen, Don Natale, Bret Neese, Kailiang Ren, Minren Lin, Q. M. Zhang, Matthew Pattom, K. W. Wang, Houfei Fang, Eastwood Im

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    35 Scopus citations


    Extremely large, lightweight, in-space deployable active and passive microwave antennas are demanded by future space missions. This paper investigates the development of PVDF based piezopolymer actuators for controlling the surface accuracy of a membrane reflector. Uniaxially stretched PVDF films were poled using an electrodeless method which yielded high quality poled piezofilms required for this applications. To further improve the piezoperformance of piezopolymers, several PVDF based copolymers were examined. It was found that one of them exhibits nearly three times improvement in the in-plane piezoresponse compared with PVDF and P(VDF-TrFE) piezopolymers. Preliminary experimental results indicate that these flexible actuators are very promising in controlling precisely the shape of the space reflectors. To evaluate quantitatively the effectiveness of these PVDF based piezopolymer actuators for space reflector applications, an analytical approach has been established to study the performance of the coupled actuator-reflector-control system. This approach includes the integration of a membrane reflector model, PVDF piezopolymer actuator model, solution method, and shape control law. The reflective Newton method was employed to determine the optimal electric field for a given actuator configuration and loading/shape error.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2007
    StatePublished - Oct 15 2007
    EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2007 - San Diego, CA, United States
    Duration: Mar 19 2007Mar 22 2007

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
    ISSN (Print)0277-786X


    OtherElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2007
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Diego, CA

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


    Dive into the research topics of 'Piezoelectric polymers actuators for precise shape control of large scale space antennas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this