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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Next Generation Extremely Large Solar Array System for NASA Exploration Missions

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Next Generation Extremely Large Solar Array System for NASA Exploration Missions
The proposed technology is a revolutionary solar array advancement that relies on a structurally optimized platform to provide unparalleled specific-performance and affordability for extremely large area solar arrays. The proposed technology is comprised of a central beam tensioned membrane architecture that leverages key heritage technology elements to provide low-risk and high end-user acceptance. The proposed technology will enable emerging Solar Electric Propulsion Space Science and Exploration missions through ultra-affordability, ultra-lightweight, ultra-compact stowage volume, design simplicity, robustness and high damage tolerance, broad scalability, high strength/stiffness, high voltage and high/low temperature operation capability within many environments. Once completely optimized through the proposed SBIR program the proposed technology promises to provide NASA/industry a near-term and low-risk solar array system that provides revolutionary performance in terms of high specific power (>300 up to 500 W/kg BOL at the wing level, PV-blanket dependent), affordability (up to 40% cost savings at the array level, PV-blanket dependent), ultra-lightweight, high deployed stiffness (10X better than current arrays), high deployed strength (10X better than current arrays), compact stowage volume (>70-80 kW/m3 BOL, 10X times better than current arrays), high reliability, high radiation tolerance, high voltage operation capability (>200 VDC), scalability (500W to 100's of kW), and LILT/HIHT operation. More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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