Opterus is developing the Tubular Truss Additive Manufacturing (TTAM) architecture. In a patent pending process, TTAM uses collapsible tubular masts (CTMs) to fabricate high performance trusses in lengths exceeding 1 kilometer. Key features of the technology are structural mass efficiency, volumetric efficiency, high dimensional stability, rapid low energy in-space fabrication, and reusability. TTAM trusses are expected to be 10 times lighter weight that current state of the art deployable structures because:
1) they achieve the form of a truss of thin-walled tubes, which is the most structurally efficiency form and
2) they use the highest performance materials, carbon fiber composites.
CTMs for TTAM are low-cost roll-to-roll pultruded booms that can be flattened and roll stowed for extreme volumetric efficiency; the CTM feed stock for a 100m truss is expected to occupy less than 1 ft3 volume.
TTAM’s baseline fastening approach is a custom mechanical fastener that is readily installed and also removable to enable structure reuse and recycling. The fastener also provides an attachment point for payloads and utilities. The TTAM architecture does not use heat or time dependent curing processes; the CTMs are deformed elastically and the fasteners are mechanical features.
As a result, in space manufacturing can proceed at a high speed and with very low energy input. Truss fabrication rates on the order of meters per hour are expected.
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