Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


College of Engineering


Eltahry Elghandour

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


The Miniaturized Ultraviolet Imager (MUVI), is a compact wide field UV imaging instrument in development at UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. MUVI is designed to fit in a 2U CubeSat form factor and provide wide field, high resolution images of the ionosphere at far ultraviolet wavelengths. This thesis details the design and analyses of MUVI’s deployable cover mirror mounting flexures. Three different flexure geometries were evaluated, an optimal candidate was determined based on a number of criteria including isolation of vibration and stress to the mirrors, manufacturability and cost. The design of the flexure system includes the flexure blades themselves, Invar pads bonded to the mirror to mitigate the difference in CTEs of the different material, mounting of flexure blades to the deployable cover and ground support equipment for assembly and testing.

During the design of the flexures, various materials were studied, and Titanium was concluded as the optimum material due to its combination of high strength and flexibility compared to stainless steel, aluminum and other metals. Utilizing titanium, several flexure designs were proposed, and three candidates were selected to be manufactured and tested. Throughout the design phase, all flexures went through several rounds of analysis utilizing finite element analysis to simulate quasi-static loads, modal analysis of the systems natural frequency as well as random vibration simulations to simulate testing environments.

Once the front-runner designs were selected and manufactured, several tests were conducted. Testing included adhesive bond coupon testing of the adhesive in tension and bending to experimentally validate the bonding size of the invar pads would be sufficient. The adhesive bond testing conducted tension and three-point bend tests to characterize the epoxy adhesive used in the flexure assembly. Testing also consisted of sine sweep and random vibration environment in accordance with the NASA General Environmental Verification Standard to qualify the hardware for spaceflight. Throughout the vibration testing, an autocollimator was used pre and post-test to measure shifts in the optical alignment of the mirror after it underwent vibration qualification testing.

Experimental and analytical models were compared once all testing was completed. The Curved Blade showed to test in the real world very close to that predicted by the finite element model, however, the Bent Blade and Z Blade showed a larger difference between analysis and test. Discussion into the reasoning for this difference and lessons learned is included.