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200W Deep Space CubeSat Composite Beam Roll-Up Solar Array (COBRA), Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Solar arrays that have very high specific power (W/kg) and compact stowed volume (W/m3), while still providing shielding to the solar cell, are an enabling technology for Deep Space CubeSat missions. Current CubeSat and small satellite solar arrays employ either fixed panels mounted directly to the Satellite side-wall(s) or small hinged rigid panels. These arrays generate very low power (4-20W) due to their limited area available for solar cell installation, thereby constraining CubeSat payload capacity, capability and mission applications. Composite Technology Development, Inc. (CTD) proposes to develop an approach for a high-power, flexible and compact deployable solar array for Deep Space CubeSat Applications. The Composite Beam Roll-up Array (COBRA) is a very high specific power solar array that combines the Photovoltaic Assembly with the deployable boom structure into a unified integrated laminated assembly that can achieve >265 W/kg at the array level, including the deployable structure. The integrated structure will also shield the solar cells from the harsh space environment. The objective of this SBIR is to develop a COBRA for a 6U Spacecraft that generates at least 200W for Deep Space Applications. The unique design is also inherently low cost due to the design simplicity and very low part count. Furthermore, the COBRA technology is highly modular and scale-able, and could be easily scaled to provide in excess of 600W for a small satellite. More »

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