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CNN “Tech for Good” highlights CMR work with NASA

The Compliant Mechanisms Research Group at BYU works with NASA, Penn State, and MMA Design to create a deployable lidar telescope. By using origami mechanisms, their aim is to produce a telescope more compact and cost effective than ever before.

One of the most promising applications of origami is in space. Origami patterns can be sent to space while in their folded state, and then may be deployed out into their full size. Satellites can often benefit from this capability, especially satellites which need a large optical area. For example, satellites which utilize solar panels or which collect optical data (i.e. a Light Detection and Ranging—LiDaR—telescope) benefit from the increased area offered by a deploying origami flasher.

The CMR Lab, in collaboration with NASA, Penn State, and MMA Design Laboratory, is pushing the frontier on design of origami flashers for use in space. CNN journalist Kristie Lu Stout recently visited the lab to highlight its work in their Tech for Good segment. Learn more about the research in their video here. Check out also these academic articles related to this project:

Ynchausti, Collin, et al. "Hexagonal Twist Origami Pattern for Deployable Space Arrays." ASME Open Journal of Engineering 1 (2022).

Varela, Katie, et al. "Thickness Accommodation for the Flasher Origami Deployable Array." AIAA SCITECH 2023 Forum. 2023.

Bolanos, Diana, et al. "Selecting and Optimizing Origami Flasher Pattern Configurations for Finite-Thickness Deployable Space Arrays." Journal of Mechanical Design 145.2 (2023): 023301.