Optimization of composite tubes for a thermal optical lens housing design



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas A&M University


This thesis describes the manufacturing, structural analysis and testing of a composite cylinder for space application. This work includes the design and fabrication of a reusable multicomponent mandrel made of aluminum and steel and the manufacturing of a carbon fiber reinforced tube in an epoxy resin matrix. This structure intends to serve as the optical lens housing onboard a spacecraft. In addition, some future work needs to be done before this component is certified. The objective is to determine if the composite meets the stiffness and strength requirements for lens housing. The structural analysis is made by means of a finite element model simulating the true boundary conditions. The testing includes the design of a fixture to allow the composite cylinder to be mounted in one the testing machines at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University and the preparation for the actual test. The response to the experimental analysis will be compared to the numerical simulation to verify the results.