With today’s high efficiency photovoltaic technology, the areal power density can be increased four-fold to about 400 W/m2. The specific power can be increased to 140 W/kg. The array panel shown was flight qualified: it was vibration tested at 12 g’s in all axes and thermal cycled between -85 and 70C. It was deployed in a space chamber at -90C.
A lightweight, low stowed-volume deployable-retractable cylindrical structure was designed and fabricated in support of a number of L.Garde projects. The cylindrical object could be repeatedly deployed and retracted for the purpose of providing low-cost methods to calibrate the US Space Situational Awareness (SSA) sensors was further investigated in Phase II. The ultimate goal is to enhance US SOSI systems to enable the US to maintain its abilities to execute space control missions. It will ensure freedom of action in space and support defensive space control through detection, characterization, and identification an attack as well as identification of the attacker and their capabilities.
Phase II resulted in a conceptual objective system design that was enabled by thermally stable, high strain elastomeric composite material developed through sub-scale prototype development and testing. The majority of the Phase II effort focused on identifying methods to enable the mechanical sub-system and demonstrating that the selected method can achieve the system specifications. A system and configuration that could accomplish the goals of the project were identified and demonstrated through sub-scale prototypes. This design was successfully scaled upward to 1 m diameter prototypes which was the limit of available fabrication equipment and facilities. The key to the project was the thermally stable, high strain elastomeric composite material which enabled the design concept.
Several 1 m diameter prototypes were fabricated and were tested to demonstrate the feasibility of the mechanical concept. MORE >