Compact Telescoping Array Design and Development, Phase II

Metadata Updated: February 28, 2019

Solar arrays power the vast majority of space missions. Solar arrays with higher power, better mass efficiency and improved packaging are critical, especially given NASA interest in solar electric propulsion (SEP). The Phase I results shows that the Compact Telescoping Array (CTA) architecture, originally conceived by a NASA sponsored team, is a very promising new technology. Not only has CTA shown outstanding performance metrics, but it does so in a manner that is scalable, reliable and offers compact stowage.

The proposed innovation is a solar array design consisting of a single central truss structure flanked by tensioned flexible photovoltaic blankets. This configuration has been shown in multiple analytical studies to be the most mass efficient for a cantilevered solar array. Phase I results confirm that CTA has very low structural mass which, with state-of-practice cell technology, allows the platform to deliver excellent specific power. For example, sub-200 kW systems show specific power approaching 190 W/kg and mega-Watt versions of CTA still produce better than 150 W/kg.

The CTA stowed wing achieves the ?compact? attribute due to the fact that the two primary components of the system, the boom and the PV blankets, though by different methods, both stow into highly volume-efficient packages. The individual boom segments all nest neatly inside one another while the PV blankets stow into compact Z-folded stacks. The result is a system that is capable of delivering compactness in excess of 100 kW/m?, far beyond expectations.

The CTA system, although a new solar array configuration, is shown through Phase I research to have high reliability. This is achieved by leveraging heritage mechanical subsystems and by minimizing new mechanism design, thereby effectively delivering a higher TRL than would ordinarily be associated with a new system. The CTA design draws heavily from heritage designs of Angstrom Designs subcontractor Orbital ATK Goleta.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: U.S. Government Work

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019

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Harvested from NASA Data.json

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Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_90196
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
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Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2018-04-01
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Data Last Modified 2018-07-19
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 73db3a4a47d96e5df99e3d28bf4a6ef0fc1ed68a
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