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.


 
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft powers through first integrated system testing

Lockheed Martin photograph Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this ye...
 
 

NASA’s Hubble extends stellar tape measure 10 times farther into space

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers now can precisely measure the distance of stars up to 10,000 light-years away – 10 times farther than previously possible. Astronomers have developed yet another novel way to use the 24-year-old space telescope by employing a technique called spatial scanning, which dramatically improves Hubble’s accuracy for making angular meas...
 
 
LM-AEHF

Fourth AEHF protected communications satellite begins integration months ahead of schedule

The fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite produced by Lockheed Martin is taking shape after early deliveries of its payload and propulsion core. AEHF-4, expected to launch in 2017, will enable the constellation to ...
 

 
nasa-telescope

NASA looks to go beyond batteries for space exploration

NASA is seeking proposals for the development of new, more capable, energy storage technologies to replace the battery technology that has long powered America’s space program. The core technologies solicited in the Wedne...
 
 

Near Infrared Camera Integrated into space telescope

Lockheed Martin and the University of Arizona have delivered the primary imaging instrument of the James Webb Space Telescope to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The new Near Infrared Camera, or NIRCam, has been successfully integrated within the heart of the telescope, known as the Integrated Science Instrument Module. The integration completes the suite of...
 
 

NASA awards robotics, vehicle, graphics simulation services contract

NASA has selected MacLean Engineering & Applied Technologies of Houston to provide simulation model development for organizations at the agency’s Johnson Space Center, also in Houston. This indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract has firm-fixed price and cost-plus fixed-fee task orders. Beginning July 1, the contract has a three-year base period followed by two one-year opt...
 




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>