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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 49
Edited by: M.B. Leeming and B.H.V. Topping
Paper III.2

Electromagnetic Structural Joints for Space Environments

B.S. Benjamin

School of Architecture and Urban Design, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, United States of America

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
B.S. Benjamin, "Electromagnetic Structural Joints for Space Environments", in M.B. Leeming, B.H.V. Topping, (Editors), "Innovation in Civil and Construction Engineering", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 69-74, 1997. doi:10.4203/ccp.49.3.2
This paper deals with an innovative concept for the use of electromagnetic joints for connecting structural components in space environments. A study of the literature shows that NASA's methods require the use of space-walking astronauts in high-risk operations. The author's method using electromagnetic forces between the head and the yoke eliminate this risk. Joints in tension, shear and bending have been analysed and tested. An arch structure and a tetrahedral space structure connected only by such joints have been built and erected. The paper then deals with the use of robotic space station erection vehicles (SSEV) and their guidance systems for the erection of such structures, describing public demonstrations of model systems that could be used in space. Finally, the paper discusses methods of converting electromagnetic structural joints into permanent connections, as also the ease with which they can be made into "smart" joints.

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