Technology developed during this SBIR program will be directly applied to any NASA telescope program involved with exoplanet discovery and characterization that needs an external occulter, or Starshade. The Exo-S STDT Final Report identified a potential rendezvous mission with WFIRST/AFTA because it is a large astrophysics telescope capable of supporting direct imaging with a starshade, and the current timing of its development fits with a potential starshade development and launch. Beyond exoplanet missions the solar array system design would apply to any mission needing high power to justify solar electric propulsion. The unique annular design with offset spokes provides stiffness and strength levels that would exceed current state of the art SEP array designs at comparable power levels. The inner disk packages by spiral wrapping around a central hub which provides efficient stowage volumes and fits well within cylindrical fairings. It also yields a stowed design with high modal frequencies and can be constrained and released with a simple mechanism.
This solar array system would apply to any commercial or DOD application where a high stiffness, high strength solar array is needed. The design is scalable up to 20 to 30 m diameters which could achieve up to 300 KW. Arrays of this size can power solar electric propulsion systems. The strength and stiffness will allow high acceleration and maneuver loads. The ability to package efficiently and also achieve high stowed modal frequencies may also be enabling for some applications.