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Large Aperture Deployable Structures for Spacecraft Applications
Phone: (205) 971-7024
Solar Thermal Propulsion (STP) for orbital transfer and planetary missions requires the use of large-area solar collectors. Inflatable concentrators are becoming viable candidates for use in STP. Concerns with micro-meteoroid penetrations and inflation gas supply need to be addressed. Inflation-deployed, rigidized concentrators are less susceptible to on-orbit meteoroid flux and do not require inflation make-up gas after rigidization. SRS has demonstrated the use of foam rigidized concentrators through deployment demonstrations in the Philips Lab SPEF chamber at Edwards Air Force Base, CA. These demonstrations were on a relatively small scale. A need exists for the development of this technology on larger, flight-sized hardware. In Phase I the feasibility of rigidizing a 7 x 9 meter off-axis inflatable concentrator will be demonstrated. Additionally, hardware and process designs will be made in Phase I for a full-scale deployment demonstration of a foam-rigidized 7 x 9 meter thin film concentrator to be deployed from a Pegasus XL launch vehicle.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *