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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

High Performance TRAC Boom for Solar Sails

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

High Performance TRAC Boom for Solar Sails, Phase I
In response to NASA's need for compact, low-cost deployable solar sail booms for CubeSats, Roccor proposes to develop a high performance composite TRAC (TRAC HP) Boom system. The proposed design will advance TRAC technology through: 1) the use of thin-ply composite laminates that are capable of higher packaging strains, 2) the use of high modulus carbon fibers to increase specific modulus of the deployed booms, and 3) incorporating a stepped taper of the boom laminate thickness along its length to improve compression efficiency while minimizing impact to packaged volume. Preliminary analyses indicate a composite TRAC HP boom can achieve more than a 3X increase in buckling strength and 15X reduction in thermal deformations compared to the Elgiloy TRAC design currently baselined for NASA?s NEA Scout mission. The overarching Phase I objective is to conduct an preliminary design-analysis-fabrication-test loop for a TRAC HP four-boom system capable of meeting requirements for NASA?s NEA Scout mission, and clearly identify engineering development risks that must be addressed to ultimately ensure adequate performance of these booms on-orbit. During Phase II, the TRAC HP Boom system will be developed to a proto-flight level of maturity (engineering design to flight CDR, and manufacturing/test plan in conformance with flight hardware quality standards), and numerous hardware prototypes will be built and tested to establish performance for NEA Scout and other CubeSat solar sail missions of interest to NASA. More »

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