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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Design and Analysis Tools for Deployable Solar Array Systems

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Design and Analysis Tools for Deployable Solar Array Systems, Phase II
Large, lightweight, deployable solar array structures have been identified as a key enabling technology for NASA with analysis and design of these structures being the top challenge in meeting the overall goals of the NASA Space Technology Roadmap. The use of analysis to drive design from an early stage is critical to their success, yet conflicting design requirements and demanding space constraints make traditional design/build/test methods challenging and expensive. The proposed SBIR program focuses on overcoming this through the development of a user-friendly multi-disciplinary design and analysis software toolkit that can rapidly perform parametric studies and design optimization of solar array concepts. The software package will provide a graphical user interface and analysis procedures to evaluate critical performance metrics, while eliminating the unnecessary pre-processing and computational overhead associated with current approaches. Analysis capabilities will include flexible multi-body dynamics, array deployment, modal analysis, and response simulation. Model creation will be simplified through the use of an extensible, hierarchical blockset solution and a library of blocks specific to deployable solar array analysis. The Phase II effort will focus on the development of advanced analysis and design capabilities and further validation of the tool through test-correlated modeling of a state-of-the-art solar array system. More »

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