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SBIR/STTR

Solar Transportable Array Rover for Conformable Deployment Retraction on Mars, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

SDC?s Solar Transportable Array Rover (STAR) Power system is an inflatable structure integrated with state-of-the-art solar blanket technology. The inflatable structure and solar blanket are stored in a roll as small as 0.5 m in diameter and 3 m wide for a 2500 m2 array, achieving a 150 kW/m3 packaging efficiency. The bladder membrane thickness will be optimized for the prescribed pressure, realize a rolled packaging volume as low as 5 m3, hold the solar cells more than 1 m off the ground, and weigh as little as 500-750 kg for a 2500 m2 array. The optimized rolled packaging makes the STAR Power system installable across landers, transport vehicles, habitats, and power plant sites, providing a universal power solution for Mars habitation and exploration. In this Phase I SBIR, SDC will design, analyze, manufacture, and demonstrate a sub-scale STAR Power system inflatable structure. The design and analysis of the support inflatable bladders will focus on weight optimization to meet the pressurization requirements. The deployment/retraction demonstration will be conducted over both even and uneven terrain, and enable evaluation of initial packing factor, repacking factor, conformability, reliability, and durability. More »

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