Faculté des Sciences appliquées
Faculté des Sciences appliquées

Master thesis and internship[BR]- Master's thesis : Preliminary Design and Analysis of a Deployable Space Structure for Nulling Interferometry[BR]- Integration Internship : TU Delft

Iannello, Sacha ULiège
Promotor(s) : Loicq, Jerôme ULiège
Date of defense : 4-Sep-2023/5-Sep-2023 • Permalink :
Title : Master thesis and internship[BR]- Master's thesis : Preliminary Design and Analysis of a Deployable Space Structure for Nulling Interferometry[BR]- Integration Internship : TU Delft
Translated title : [fr] Design préliminaire et analyse d'une structure spatiale déployable pour l'interférométrie de nulling
Author : Iannello, Sacha ULiège
Date of defense  : 4-Sep-2023/5-Sep-2023
Advisor(s) : Loicq, Jerôme ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Bruls, Olivier ULiège
Jovanova, Jovana 
Language : English
Number of pages : 110
Keywords : [en] Deployable structure, Mechanical design, Nulling interferometry, Origami structure, Origami flasher, Static analysis, Kinematics analysis
[en] Conceptual design
Discipline(s) : Engineering, computing & technology > Aerospace & aeronautics engineering
Target public : Researchers
Professionals of domain
General public
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en ingénieur civil en aérospatiale, à finalité spécialisée en "aerospace engineering"
Faculty: Master thesis of the Faculté des Sciences appliquées


[en] In its quest to unravel the mysteries of the universe, this study embarks on an expedition at the forefront of celestial exploration and observational science. It focuses on the advancement of exoplanetary observation methods, and delves deep into the construction of an ingeniously designed deployable satellite. Strategically positioned within the gravitational grasp of the Lagrange point L2, this satellite harnesses the potential of nulling interferometry to provide unparalleled insights into remote exoplanetary systems. The ensuing narrative not only tackles the novel complexities associated with spatial interferometry, but also introduces inventive solutions through meticulous mechanical engineering, structural analysis and dynamic deployment studies.

The cosmos is rich with uncharted planetary bodies beyond the confines of our own solar system, beckoning us to explore their cryptic domains. In this context, this work is part of a larger effort that aims to revolutionise the field of exoplanetary observation. The deployment of the satellite within the Lagrange point L2 establishes an optimal stage for unobstructed observations, providing an advantageous platform for interferometric exploration.

At the heart of this research is the transformative technique known as nulling interferometry. Driven by the quest to unravel the intricate tapestry of cosmic signals, this technique has the potential to effectively separate the faint emissions of exoplanets from the overwhelming luminosity of their host stars. By skilfully manipulating light waves, the spatial interferometer on board the satellite will achieve the elusive "zero" state, revealing the nuanced characteristics of exoplanetary atmospheres and surfaces. The idea of peering into these hitherto dark worlds inspires a deep sense of curiosity and wonder.

This thesis is the beginning of the complex undertaking of conceptualising a deployable satellite with unwavering precision in the face of celestial challenges. Through meticulous mechanical design, the research reveals an ingenious mechanism that orchestrates the deployment of the satellite's interferometric instruments. A static analysis, taking into account the gravitational forces, was used to validate that the design of the selected structure was sufficiently rigid and to identify the essential dimensional requirements to minimise deformation and thereby mitigate misalignments between the telescope elements.

Research focuses on the viability of a conceptual idea in practical implementation. This involves a careful examination of the complex forces, tensions and dynamics involved in setting mechanisms in motion. This research paints a vivid picture of the physical possibilities inherent in these mechanical actions.

The study carried out in this thesis therefore results in the preliminary design of an innovative deployable structure used for space nulling interferometer. The preliminary design is presented with a 3D drawing and is accompanied by a 3D finite element model for material strength and deformation analysis, estimation of its optimum size to maximise telescope alignment, and a 3D simulation for deployment kinematics analysis.



Access Master_Thesis_IANNELLO_Sacha.pdf
Size: 18.49 MB
Format: Adobe PDF


  • Iannello, Sacha ULiège Université de Liège > Master ingé. civ. aérospat., à fin.


Committee's member(s)

  • Bruls, Olivier ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > Département d'aérospatiale et mécanique > Laboratoire des Systèmes Multicorps et Mécatroniques
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Jovanova, Jovana
  • Total number of views 67
  • Total number of downloads 52

All documents available on MatheO are protected by copyright and subject to the usual rules for fair use.
The University of Liège does not guarantee the scientific quality of these students' works or the accuracy of all the information they contain.