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Mir Cooperative Solar Array Flight Performance Data and Computational AnalysisThe Mir Cooperative Solar Array (MCSA) was developed jointly by the United States (US) and Russia to provide approximately 6 kW of photovoltaic power to the Russian space station Mir. The MCSA was launched to Mir in November 1995 and installed on the Kvant-1 module in May 1996. Since the MCSA photovoltaic panel modules (PPMs) are nearly identical to those of the International Space Station (ISS) photovoltaic arrays, MCSA operation offered an opportunity to gather multi-year performance data on this technology prior to its implementation on ISS. Two specially designed test sequences were executed in June and December 1996 to measure MCSA performance. Each test period encompassed 3 orbital revolutions whereby the current produced by the MCSA channels was measured. The temperature of MCSA PPMs was also measured. To better interpret the MCSA flight data, a dedicated FORTRAN computer code was developed to predict the detailed thermal-electrical performance of the MCSA. Flight data compared very favorably with computational performance predictions. This indicated that the MCSA electrical performance was fully meeting pre-flight expectations. There were no measurable indications of unexpected or precipitous MCSA performance degradation due to contamination or other causes after 7 months of operation on orbit. Power delivered to the Mir bus was lower than desired as a consequence of the retrofitted power distribution cabling. The strong correlation of experimental and computational results further bolsters the confidence level of performance codes used in critical ISS electric power forecasting. In this paper, MCSA flight performance tests are described as well as the computational modeling behind the performance predictions.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Conference Paper
Kerslake, Thomas W.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Hoffman, David J.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1997
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:107502
Meeting Information
Meeting: Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering
Location: Honolulu, HI
Country: United States
Start Date: July 27, 1997
End Date: August 1, 1997
Sponsors: Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Inst. of Chemical Engineers, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 478-12-10
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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