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POWOW: A Modular, High Power Spacecraft ConceptA robust space infrastructure encompasses a broad range of mission needs along with an imperative to reduce costs of satellites meeting those needs. A critical commodity for science, commercial and civil satellites is power at an affordable cost. The POWOW (POwer WithOut Wires) spacecraft concept was created to provide, at one end of the scale, multi-megawatts of power yet also be composed of modules that can meet spacecraft needs in the kilowatt range. With support from the NASA-sponsored Space Solar Power Exploratory Research and Technology Program, the POWOW spacecraft concept was designed to meet Mars mission needs - while at the same time having elements applicable to a range of other missions. At Mars, the vehicle would reside in an aerosynchronous orbit and beam power to a variety of locations on the surface. It is the purpose of this paper to present the latest concept design results. The Space Power Institute along with four companies: Able Engineering, Inc., Entech, Inc., Primex Aerospace Co., and TECSTAR have produced a modular, power-rich electrically propelled spacecraft design that meets these requirements. In addition, it also meets a range of civil and commercial needs. The spacecraft design is based on multijunction Ill-V solar cells, the new Stretched Lens Aurora (SLA) module, a lightweight array design based on a multiplicity of 8 kW end-of-life subarrays and electric thrusters. The solar cells have excellent radiation resistance and efficiencies above 30%. The SLA has a concentration ratio up to 15x while maintaining an operating temperature of 80 C. The design of the 8 kW array building block will be presented and its applicability to commercial and government missions will be discussed. Electric propulsion options include Hall, MPD and ion thrusters of various power levels and trade studies have been conducted to define the most advantageous options. The present baseline spacecraft design providing 900 kW using technologies expected to be available in 2003 will be described. Areal power densities of nearly 400 W/meters squared at 80 C operating temperatures and wing level specific powers of over 400 W/kg are projected. Details of trip times and payloads to Mars will be presented as well as trade studies of various electric propulsion options. Trip times compare favorably with chemical propulsion options. Because the design is modular, learning curve methodology can be applied to determine expected cost reductions. These results will also be included. This paper has not been presented at a previous meeting.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.
(Auburn Univ. AL United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2000
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Meeting Information
Meeting: 35th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Country: United States
Start Date: July 23, 2000
End Date: July 27, 2000
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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