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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Affordable Maximum Performance Solar Array for NASA and Commercial Missions

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Affordable Maximum Performance Solar Array for NASA and Commercial Missions, Phase II

Deployable Space Systems, Inc. (DSS), and Space Systems Loral as a key subcontractor and potential commercial infusion partner, will focus the proposed SBIR Phase 2 program on the TRL 5/6 technology maturation / development of an affordable, lightweight, high power, maximum performance solar array specifically configured to next-generation high power geostationary-earth-orbit commercial mission requirements, and in support of future NASA missions. DSS's recently completed NASA SBIR Phase 1 program has established a TRL 3/4 classification for an innovative affordable maximum performance solar array as applied to a multitude of NASA and commercial missions. Significant concept feasibility, design/analysis, trade study/evaluation, and proof-of-concept hardware build/test efforts executed during the Phase 1 program have validated the proposed technology as a potentially revolutionary photovoltaic flexible blanket solar array system that provides enabling performance in terms of: High specific power / lightweight (up to 200 W/kg BOL at the array level with ZTJ PV), compact stowage volume (>60-80 kW/m3 BOL), high deployed strength and stiffness, mechanical and electrical simplicity, high reliability, high modularity, rapid production capability, high platform flexibility and applicability to many missions, and ultra-affordability (>24% recurring cost savings at a minimum). Building off the success of the recently completed Phase 1 program, the proposed Phase 2 follow-on program will significantly increase technology readiness to TRL 5/6, ready it for an end-user qualification program, and drastically accelerate commercial infusion.

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