Faculty Advisor

Gatsonis, Nikolaos A.

Project Center

MIT Lincoln Laboratory-Lexington, Massachusetts


The project involves the investigation of adhesion in o-rings used in the Lunar Laser Space Terminal (LLST) space communications mission designed by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Experiments and testing were conducted with sixteen types of o-rings and twelve different mating interfaces. Test results are presented for adhesion force, thermal survival, adhesion at varying temperatures, outgassing, force and deflection, optical metrology and surface roughness, and residue analysis. Free body diagram analysis and finite element modeling is presented. The selection of an o-ring and interface that fits the design parameters for the LLST mission is presented. This investigation advances the understanding of the adhesion process in o-rings used in deployable space mechanisms.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

October 2012


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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