Event Title

Deployable Articulating Array for Nanosatellites

Session

Pre-Conference: CubeSat Developers' Workshop

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Abstract

Under Army SBIR funding CTD has developed a deployable, articulating solar array for nanosatellites. The CubeSat Articulating Solar Array (CASA) provides the community with a solar array module compatible with the standardized CubeSat chassis, and compliant with the P-POD launch canister specification. This development included a bolt-on CASA module, which encompassed a launch restraint system, the deployable solar array, the articulating mechanism and associated control electronics. During the recently completed Phase II effort the CASA system was developed to TRL 5. This Phase II development focused on a 50W point design, for a 3U CubeSat. The innovation of the CASA deployable array system is twofold. First, CASA provides a very large, modular (i.e. scalable), solar panel area. This planar array stows within the standard P-POD volume that surrounds the nanosatellite spacecraft. On-orbit the CASA panels deploy into a co-planar operational configuration. Second, CASA utilizes shape-morphing composite slit-tube boom technology. This morphing composite structure serves multiple functions, thus eliminating parasitic mass and complexity of traditional mechanical systems. The boom provides all the necessary deployment actuation energy for the CASA solar array. Once deployed this same boom is the primary solar array structure that locates the array panels well away from the spacecraft (to prevent shading on the panels from the nanosatellite or nanosatellite payloads), and enable active pointing towards the sun. While multi-functionality results in an elegant final solution, the conflicting requirements presented significant design challenges. The proposed paper will describe the development, flight qualification, and near-term applications of the CASA technology, with a heavy focus on testing of the CASA Engineering Development Unit (EDU). The often times conflicting design requirements of CASA’s multi-functional, shape morphing composite array structure will be discussed in detail. In addition, analysis showing the trade studies and design methodology behind CASA’s selection of a single degree of freedom articulation mechanism vs. a two-axis gimbal will be presented.

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Aug 10th, 11:15 AM

Deployable Articulating Array for Nanosatellites

Under Army SBIR funding CTD has developed a deployable, articulating solar array for nanosatellites. The CubeSat Articulating Solar Array (CASA) provides the community with a solar array module compatible with the standardized CubeSat chassis, and compliant with the P-POD launch canister specification. This development included a bolt-on CASA module, which encompassed a launch restraint system, the deployable solar array, the articulating mechanism and associated control electronics. During the recently completed Phase II effort the CASA system was developed to TRL 5. This Phase II development focused on a 50W point design, for a 3U CubeSat. The innovation of the CASA deployable array system is twofold. First, CASA provides a very large, modular (i.e. scalable), solar panel area. This planar array stows within the standard P-POD volume that surrounds the nanosatellite spacecraft. On-orbit the CASA panels deploy into a co-planar operational configuration. Second, CASA utilizes shape-morphing composite slit-tube boom technology. This morphing composite structure serves multiple functions, thus eliminating parasitic mass and complexity of traditional mechanical systems. The boom provides all the necessary deployment actuation energy for the CASA solar array. Once deployed this same boom is the primary solar array structure that locates the array panels well away from the spacecraft (to prevent shading on the panels from the nanosatellite or nanosatellite payloads), and enable active pointing towards the sun. While multi-functionality results in an elegant final solution, the conflicting requirements presented significant design challenges. The proposed paper will describe the development, flight qualification, and near-term applications of the CASA technology, with a heavy focus on testing of the CASA Engineering Development Unit (EDU). The often times conflicting design requirements of CASA’s multi-functional, shape morphing composite array structure will be discussed in detail. In addition, analysis showing the trade studies and design methodology behind CASA’s selection of a single degree of freedom articulation mechanism vs. a two-axis gimbal will be presented.