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Modular Extendable Terrestrial Array, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

For Mars mission program managers, who need a robust, structurally efficient solar array system to autonomously deploy on the Martian surface, the Modular Extendable Terrestrial Array (META) is an extremely high performance and cost-effective deployable solar array system that will enable manned missions. LoadPath's approach adapts a demonstrated, high packaging-efficiency array folding architecture for a Martian surface application delivering robust autonomous deployments over uneven terrain, retractability, modularity, portability, minimal CONOPS, and integrated dust mitigation. LoadPath recently invented and demonstrated the feasibility of an advanced, lightweight solar array system to deliver high power generation capability for small satellite systems with extreme stowed volume constraints. Establishing a functional solar array farm on the Martian surface to support manned missions shares many of the technical challenges and requirements of the small spacecraft, large deployable array problem. LoadPath leveraged the findings of this previous effort with its extensive experience in devising and delivering numerous innovative deployable structural systems in the development of the leading concept for an META autonomous deploying terrestrial array. In this Phase I effort, the conceptual design will be developed through a thorough engineering trade study of the required support components, culminating with a functional deployment demonstration with a fabricated prototype structure. More »

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