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SBIR/STTR

Concentrically Mounted Wrapped Array with Cable Support, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Proposed is a lightweight PV array module architecture with up to or beyond 2500 m2 surface area autonomously and robustly deployable in a gravitational field from stowage that is eminently streamlined for integration with space transport and surface mission systems. Supported via simple architectural features are highly prioritized Mars application objectives including modular or single large-unit use, self-cleaning and dust abutment, easy operation including tilt, transportability, robust tolerance for thermal and dimensional perturbations, and retractability. Integration with space transport systems is achieved via toroidal storage that can be designed to encircle any, large or small, core equipment such as a lander or habitat unit or a transportable power module, and seamlessly fits into launch vehicle payload envelopes. Similar to the recently developed wrapped array concept, rolled in the belt package are support ribs with the surface sectors folded between them; the PV cells are mounted on the latter. (The ribs concurrently emerge from the package straight and, diverging outward, unfold the sheet sectors.) When deployed, the PV strips, with gentle cross-slopes, are suspended from the ribs with a sagging/slack cable system that renders the design environmentally robust and permits self-cleaning via the wind effects themselves. Rib strength is boosted by cable support, analogous to mature crane jib support technology. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas

Target Destination

Light bulb

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