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[ Deployment Sequence ] [ Experimental Results ] [ Simulations ]

Below are two deployment sequences for how the starshade works. For more information about starshades, click here.


Step One

This is the stowed configuration of the starshade, inside the spacecraft.

Step Two

The booms fold down. Each boom supports one petal, for a total of twelve booms.

Step Three

The folds of the starshade are swirled around a central holding cap, similar to the folding method of a collapsible umbrella.

Step Four

The swirled folds are straightended, and ready for the booms to extend.

Step Five

The stem drives extend the booms segment by segment. The edge of the starshade is fixed to the boom segment. Each segment locks into place when it becomes fully deployed.

Step Six

This starshade has only seven segments for each boom, because it is only 25 meters across (the real starshade would be about 50 meters across). The central object is a holder for the starshade while it is in the spacecraft.

Step Seven

After full deployment, the central holder is jettisoned.

Step Eight

The tips of the petals are composed of a solid rod of the appropriate shape, which folds out and locks onto the last boom segment.

Step Nine

This image shows a view of the underside of the starshade, at complete deployment. Each segment of the boom is represented by a different color. Cables run along the perimeter of the starshade to hold the petal edges in proper tension.

To see a table-top deployment sequence, click here.


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