Space

January 24, 2014

ATK demonstrates high-power MegaFlex solar array for NASA

atk-solar-array
ATK demonstrated full deployment of a large MegaFlex solar array under a NASA contract to further the development of a high-power system to be used for future robotic and manned exploration missions.

ATK’s 32 feet diameter Solar Electric Propulsion MegaFlex solar array design is capable of generating approximately 40kW of power with two wings when fully populated with solar cells, and it has been considered for near-term mission concepts such as NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission.

The full deployment demonstration of MegaFlex was successfully conducted at ATK’s Goleta, Calf., facility Dec. 9. The system completed validation testing through December before being shipped to NASA’s Glenn Research Center Plum Brook Station for thermal vacuum deployment testing this month.

“NASA’s over-arching objective is to further the development of low mass solar arrays that can be stowed very compactly for high-power SEP systems to be used for future robotic and manned exploration missions,” said David Shanahan, vice president and general manager of ATK Aerospace Group’s Space Components division. “By building on our family of solar arrays, our team was able to develop this breakthrough with affordable innovation and in rapid fashion to support NASA’s far-reaching planning efforts.”

ATK received a $6.4 million contract for the MegaFlex development in October 2012. The phase 1 SEP MegaFlex solar array Tech Development program goal is to further the maturity of an extensible (>250kW total) solar array structure through design development and validation testing, resulting in a technical readiness level of 5+ maturity in preparation for a non-specified Technology Demonstration Mission.

ATK’s MegaFlex solar array is based on ATK’s spaceflight-proven UltraFlex solar array family of platforms that powered NASA’s Mars Phoenix Lander in 2008. The solar array is also in series production of 10 wings for Orbital Science’s Commercial Resupply Services spacecraft and is base-lined on NASA’s recently announced Insight Discovery Mission to Mars awarded to Lockheed Martin. The exceptional performance of smaller (6-foot diameter) solar arrays used to power the Phoenix Lander contributed to the Phoenix mission being extended three times.

The unique circular architecture of the UltraFlex and MegaFlex systems enables very low mass and small stowed volume for multiple space exploration missions.A follow-on Phase 2 Technology Development effort to further develop a flight-ready version of MegaFlex would support a future space flight demonstration to finalize an operational system.




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


 
 

 

Headlines October 29, 2014

News: Unmanned rocket explodes just six seconds after taking off - A NASA rocket due to be visible across the East Coast on its way to the International Space Station has blown up on the Launchpad. IG: Former chief of wounded warrior office broke law, DOD regs - The Defense Department inspector general has recommended “corrective action”...
 
 

News Briefs October 29, 2014

F-35C makes first landing at Virginia Beach Navy base The Navy says an operational F-35C joint strike fighter has landed at Naval Air Station Oceana for the first time. Naval Air Station Oceana is the Navy’s master jet base on the East Coast. The Navy says the plane came to the Virginia Beach base Oct....
 
 

Time to turn to American technology for space launch

For the first time since the Cold War, the United States has deployed armored reinforcements to Europe. To counter Russia’s aggression, several hundred troops and 20 tanks are now in the Baltic. Yet the U.S. military is still injecting millions into the Russian military industrial complex. In late August, the United Launch Alliance – the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Raytheon Griffin C flight tests demonstrate in-flight retargeting capability

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for low-rate initial production of the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). G/ATOR is the first ground-based multi-mi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>