Development of a Solar Array Drive Assembly for CubeSatSmall satellites and in particular CubeSats, have increasingly become more viable as platforms for payloads typically requiring much larger bus structures. As advances in technology make payloads and instruments for space missions smaller, lighter and more power efficient, a niche market is emerging from the university community to perform rapidly developed, low-cost missions on very small spacecraft - micro, nano, and picosatellites. In just the last few years, imaging, biological and new technology demonstration missions have been either proposed or have flown using variations of the CubeSat structure as a basis. As these missions have become more complex, and the CubeSat standard has increased in both size (number of cubes) and mass, available power has become an issue. Body-mounted solar cells provide a minimal amount of power; deployable arrays improve on that baseline but are still limited. To truly achieve maximum power, deployed tracked arrays are necessary. To this end, Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation, along with MMA of Nederland Colorado, has developed a solar array drive assembly (SADA) and deployable solar arrays specifically for CubeSat missions. In this paper, we discuss the development of the SADA.
Passaretti, Mike (Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp. United States)
Hayes, Ron (Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp. United States)
August 29, 2013
May 12, 2010
Publication: Proceedings of the 40th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium