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.


 
 

 

SpaceX completes first milestone for Commercial Crew Transportation System

NASA has approved the completion of SpaceX’s first milestone in the company’s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station from U.S. soil under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with the agency. During the Certification Baseline Review, SpaceX described its current design baseline including how the company plans to manufacture its Crew Dragon spacecraft...
 
 
XCOR Aerospace/Mike Massee

XCOR announces further progress on the XCOR Lynx spacecraft

XCOR Aerospace/Mike Massee The XCOR Lynx suborbital rocketplane under construction as of December 2014. Fuselage, cockpit and Carry-through-spar are bonded, propulsion system test-mounted, sans propellant pumps.   MOJAVE, ...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle

NASA’s Kepler reborn, makes first exoplanet find of new mission

Image courtesy of NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle The artistic concept shows NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft operating in a new mission profile called K2. Using publicly available data, astronomers have confirmed K2&...
 

 
NASA illustration

NASA, planetary scientists find meteoritic evidence of Mars water reservoir

This illustration depicts Martian water reservoirs. Recent research provides evidence for the existence of a third reservoir that is intermediate in isotopic composition between the Red Planetís mantle and its current atmosphe...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin-built MUOS-3 satellite encapsulated in launch vehicle fairing

Lockheed Martin photograph The U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System-3 satellite (above) is encapsulated in its payload fairings for a scheduled Jan. 20, 2015 launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. MUOS ope...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA’s Orion arrives back at Kennedy

NASA photograph NASA’s Orion spacecraft returned to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Dec. 18, 2014. The spacecraft flew to an altitude of 3,600 miles in space during a Dec. 5 flight test designed to stre...
 




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>