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Solar Array Structures for 300 kW-Class SpacecraftState-of-the-art solar arrays for spacecraft provide on the order of 20 kW of electrical power, and they usually consist of 3J solar cells bonded to hinged rigid panels about 1 inch in thickness. This structural construction allows specific mass and packaging volumes of up to approximately 70 W/kg and 15 kW/m3 to be achieved. Significant advances in solar array structures are required for future very-high-power spacecraft (300+ kW), such as those proposed for pre-positioning heavy cargo on or near the Moon, Mars, or asteroids using solar electric propulsion. These applications will require considerable increases in both W/kg and kW/m3, and will undoubtedly require the use of flexible-substrate designs. This presentation summarizes work sponsored by NASA's Game Changing Development Program since Oct. 2011 to address the challenge of developing 300+ kW solar arrays. The work is primarily being done at NASA Langley, NASA Glenn, and two contractor teams (ATK and DSS), with technical collaboration from AFRL/Kirtland. The near-tem objective of the project is design, analysis, and testing of 30-50 kW solar array designs that are extensible to the far-term objective of 300+ kW. The work is currently focused on three designs: the MegaFlex concept by ATK, the Mega-ROSA concept by DSS, and an in-house 300-kW Government Reference Array concept. Each of these designs will be described in the presentation. Results obtained to date by the team, as well as future work plans, for the design, analysis, and testing of these large solar array structures will be summarized.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Pappa, Richard
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Rose, Geoff
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Mann, Troy O.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Warren, Jerry E.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Mikulas, Martin M., Jr.
(National Inst. of Aerospace Hampton, VA, United States)
Kerslake, Tom
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Kraft, Tom
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Banik, Jeremy
(Air Force Research Lab. Kirtland AFB, NM, United States)
Date Acquired
January 23, 2014
Publication Date
April 23, 2013
Subject Category
Structural Mechanics
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 269655.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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