Space & Technology

October 4, 2017
 

Lockheed Martin completes first flexible solar array for LM 2100 satellite

The first Multi-mission Modular Solar Array unfurls at Lockheed Martin’s site in Sunnyvale, Calif. The reconfigurable design delivers 50 percent more power despite being 30 percent lighter.

After years of development, Lockheed Martin completed the first flight build of its new Multi-mission Modular (MM) Solar Array.

This new flexible array advances Lockheed Martin’s significant heritage flying flexible arrays on such programs as the International Space Station and a constellation for the U.S. Air Force. The new design is a major component of Lockheed Martin’s multi-year modernization of its LM 2100 satellite bus, which is part of its newly-enhanced family of buses.

The MM Array incorporates three key features in the satellite design: higher power, less mass and compact stowage, and all of this enables satellite designers to better meet customers’ growing power needs. This compact flexible array design delivers 50 percent more power than previous rigid array designs at 30 percent less mass. 

“The new arrays can generate 20 kilowatts of energy in orbit, enough to power an entire home.  These new arrays deliver enough energy for even the most advanced communications or remote sensing payloads,” said Wahid Azizpor, manufacturing director at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “Built on an innovative flexible material, these arrays are rugged and reliable at a fraction of the weight and stowed size, which lets customers pack more payload capability into the satellite.”

About the array:

• By swapping rigid panels for thin, flexible sheets, the upgraded design achieves reduced weight and compact stowage. Typical rigid panels range from 0.75 to 1.5 inches thick, but the MM Array’s synthetic polymer material is just 0.002 inches thick, a significant reduction.

• Combined with an innovative deployment mechanism, the improvements create a design that lowers cost and allows easy configuration changes for different missions. Its first customers are for LM 2100 series of satellites, but engineers can adapt the design for other types of spacecraft.

• The MM Array incorporates the latest efficient solar cell and component technologies. Additionally, engineers designed the solar array to improve manufacturing and test, incorporating robotics and other advanced manufacturing techniques. Lockheed Martin has leveraged expertise from across Space Systems to contribute to the design.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – November 16, 2018

News Murder charges filed against Navy, Marine special operators in incident that killed Green Beret in Africa – Two Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders will face murder charges in the June 2017 death of an Army Special Forces staff sergeant in Mali.   DOD audit: Air Force finds mystery motors, other highlights – Saddled...
 
 

News Briefs – November 16, 2018

AF identifies deceased pilot The aircrew members involved in the T-38 Talon incident from Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, on Nov. 13, 2018, have been identified. The deceased, Capt. John F. Graziano, 28, was an instructor pilot with the 87th Flying Training Squadron at Laughlin AFB. He was from Elkridge, Md., and is survived by...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

High Desert Hangar Stories: John Wayne’s contributions to the war effort

Courtesy photograph John Wayne, along with fellow USO entertainers in Australia. “Like my friend Gary Cooper,” Wayne said, “I’m here to entertain the troops. I have no special act, but hope to get by on appearances.” ...