Patent Number: 6,168,116

Title: Shear tie device

Abstract: A spacecraft, such as a satellite, includes a panel array comprised of a plurality of panels that are stacked together and secured to the side of the satellite during launch. At least one shear tie device is configured to couple the panels together in shear to increase the resistance to deformation of the stack of panels. The shear tie device preferably comprises a male member that mates with a female member. A plurality of fingers secure the male member within the female member during launch. Upon reaching orbit, a bladder is inflated which deforms the fingers and releases the male member from engagement with the female member.

Inventors: Renshall; James T. (Ojai, CA), Marks; Geoffrey W. (Santa Barbara, CA)

Assignee: TRW Astro Aerospace

International Classification: B64G 1/44 (20060101); B64G 1/22 (20060101); B64G 1/64 (20060101); B64G 1/42 (20060101); B64G 001/44 ()

Expiration Date: 01/02/2018