Simple Low-Cost High-Performance Unrollable Panel Structure Solar Array for SmallSats

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-13-C-0051
Agency Tracking Number: F112-091-1285
Amount: $746,179.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: AF112-091
Solicitation Number: 2011.2
Small Business Information
CA, Solvang, CA, 93463-2247
DUNS: 825308732
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mark Douglas
 Technical Director
 (805) 722-5260
Business Contact
 Brian Spence
Title: General Manager
Phone: (805) 722-8090
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Deployable Space Systems, Inc. (DSS) proposed Phase 2 SBIR program is focused on the development of the mission-enabling Aladdin SmallSat solar array, and significantly maturing it through a rigorous TRL 8 qualification program, and ready it for spaceflight to support future DoD SmallSat missions. The Aladdin solar array is a simple innovative ultra-lightweight compactly-stowable elastically self-deployable panel/structure system. The proposed technology enables emerging missions and increases SmallSat operational capability. The Aladdin technology is ultra-simple and has been specifically designed to inherently provide lower risk, cost, mass, and stowage volume, allowing for dramatically increased operational capability for SmallSats. Aladdin repeatedly and elastically rolls-up or folds-up in the stowed configuration occupying an ultra-compact cylindrical or flat-planar launch package, and then reliably elastically deploys from its own strain energy to an integrated extremely-stiff planar solar array structure. Aladdin employs high modularity and design simplicity allowing for ultra-affordability and deployment reliability. Aladdin promises to provide revolutionary performance beyond current state-of-the-practice/art in terms of high specific power / lightweight (exceeding the 200 W/kg BOL AFRL goal), affordability (>42% projected total cost savings), broad modular scalability (30W-600W+ array/wing sizes), high deployed stiffness (>1Hz deployed first mode frequency for largest wing), high deployed strength capability, compact stowage volume (>20-36 kW/m3 BOL), simplicity and high reliability, and operability in a 5-yr LEO or 15-yr GEO environment. BENEFIT: The proposed technology is applicable to all future DoD, NASA and commercial (including communications and earth observation) SmallSat missions as a direct replacement for existing technologies. The proposed technology promises to provide the DoD with a near-term and low-risk solar array system for SmallSat applications and will provide revolutionary performance beyond current state-of-the-practice in terms of high specific power / lightweight, affordability, broad/modular scalability, high deployed stiffness, high deployed strength, compact stowage volume, simplicity and high reliability, and operability in a 5-year LEO or 15-year GEO mission environment. The successfully developed technology will provide the end-user with mission-enabling benefits such as increased payload mass/volume capability, lower mission/spacecraft costs, and overall improved/enhanced SmallSat mission capability. The most near-term military applications are the future SmallSat Operational Responsive Space (ORS) missions which demand ultra-affordability, high performance, and rapid supply on demand. Other military missions include literally all SmallSat missions, such as Eagle, a potential SmallSat successor to Space-Based Space Surveillance (SBSS), a potential SmallSat successor to Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), and support for ASAT systems (anti-satellite systems), as examples. The proposed Aladdin solar array is also a potential dual-use technology for military forward operating ground-based warfighter applications (mobile or trailer based) that require terrestrial photovoltaic power production.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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