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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Structural Origami Array (SOAR), Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

For small satellite program managers and integrators, who must contend with increasing power consumption of small spacecraft with advanced electric propulsion and/or science instrumentation, the Structural Origami ARray (SOAR) is an extremely high performance deployable solar array system that delivers 200W to 1kW+ power output, while exceeding state-of-the-art packaging efficiencies. Unlike existing folding panel or rolled architectures, our approach utilizes a simple reliable deployable supporting structure and a two-dimensional origami packaging scheme of the flexible blanket/substrate that exhibits several unique and enabling characteristics. These include a perfect packaging efficiency, equal to z-folding; small stowed square form factor to easily fit into any small satellite; easily scalable to create longer arrays with little impact on stowed height, complexity, and structural performance; uniform folding mechanics for simple electronic harnessing; deterministic folding kinematics that unfold in two dimensions when pulled along its length, which minimizes potential array damage during deployment; and an inherent thickness insensitivity, which allows for the uses of thicker, long lifespan or high efficiency photovoltaic cells. More »

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Project Duration

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