Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) - 08.18.16
Solar panels are an efficient way to power satellites, but they are delicate and large, and must be unfolded when a satellite arrives in orbit. The Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) is a new type of solar panel that rolls open in space like a party favor and is more compact than current rigid panel designs. The ROSA investigation tests deployment and retraction, shape changes when the Earth blocks the sun, and other physical challenges to determine the array’s strength and durability. Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending Experiment Details
Jeremy A. Banik, Ph.D., Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirkland AFB, NM, United States
Allan Paskin, Deployable Space Systems, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA, United States
Air Force Research Laboratory (Hanscom Air Force Base), MA, United States
Deployable Space Systems, Inc., Goleta, CA, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)
ISS Expedition Duration
September 2016 - September 2017
- The Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) is an innovative new solar array design that uses high strain one-piece composite slit-tube booms. The stored strain energy of the booms enforces the deployment actuation, and the booms provide the array's deployed structural stiffness and strength.
- The flight experiment is designed to characterize the performance of the array in a relevant combined space environment to compare to scalable model predictions and on-ground test data. The intent is to compare this on-orbit ROSA data to the model predictions that have been previously validated by on-ground measurements in a simulated environment.
On-orbit data are used to fully develop the structural models for unique spacecraft applications and higher power levels. As such, the flight experiment is designed in a combined space thermal, vacuum, and micro-gravity environment in order to:
- Characterize deployment loads and kinematics
- Characterize the deployed structural dynamics
- Characterize the structural dynamics that occur going from eclipse to illumination
- Characterize blanket structural survivability and photovoltaic performance after launch and deployment
- Characterize retraction loads and kinematics.
- ROSA significantly improves the power density and stowage efficiency and scalability over current rigid panel array technology and shows high promise for consideration on all future NASA, Department of Defense (DoD) and commercial spacecraft.
ROSA has the potential to replace solar arrays on future satellites, making them more compact and lighter weight. Satellite radio and television, weather forecasting, GPS and other services used on Earth would all benefit from high-performance solar arrays.
The International Space Station, telecommunications and research satellites, and satellites for military use are all powered by solar arrays, which convert sunlight into energy. ROSA is a new design that uses a one-piece, flexible composite material that snaps open in space. It has higher power density than existing technology and can be easily adapted to different sizes, making it a promising material for use on all future NASA, military and commercial solar-powered spacecraft.
Operational Requirements and Protocols
ROSA is stowed in the trunk of the SpaceX’s Dragon capsule during launch. Once on orbit, the ISS robotic arm removes ROSA from the Dragon trunk and temporarily stows it on an ELC. When ROSA operations are ready to begin, the ROSA is picked up by the ISS robotics arm and located in its operations location. The ROSA operations are conducted while attached to the SSRMS/SPDM for a duration of 7 days. During initial deployment of the array, video is required. Data are recorded using embedded sensors on the experiment. Testing is activated and commanded via the ground controllers (ROBO). Payload Health and Status and Experiment Data are downlinked via 1553 communications.
Decadal Survey Recommendations
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