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Telescoping Solar Array Concept for Achieving High Packaging EfficiencyLightweight, high-efficiency solar arrays are required for future deep space missions using high-power Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP). Structural performance metrics for state-of-the art 30-50 kW flexible blanket arrays recently demonstrated in ground tests are approximately 40 kW/cu m packaging efficiency, 150 W/kg specific power, 0.1 Hz deployed stiffness, and 0.2 g deployed strength. Much larger arrays with up to a megawatt or more of power and improved packaging and specific power are of interest to mission planners for minimizing launch and life cycle costs of Mars exploration. A new concept referred to as the Compact Telescoping Array (CTA) with 60 kW/cu m packaging efficiency at 1 MW of power is described herein. Performance metrics as a function of array size and corresponding power level are derived analytically and validated by finite element analysis. Feasible CTA packaging and deployment approaches are also described. The CTA was developed, in part, to serve as a NASA reference solar array concept against which other proposed designs of 50-1000 kW arrays for future high-power SEP missions could be compared.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Mikulas, Martin
(National Inst. of Aerospace Hampton, VA, United States)
Pappa, Richard
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Warren, Jay
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Rose, Geoff
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
April 21, 2015
Publication Date
January 5, 2015
Subject Category
Energy Production And Conversion
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA Spacecraft Structures Conference (SciTech 2015)
Location: Kissimmee, FL
Country: United States
Start Date: January 5, 2015
End Date: January 9, 2015
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 717302.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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