A workforce at NASA’s Langley Analysis Heart, with companions from NASA Ames Analysis Heart, NanoAvionics, and Santa Clara College’s Robotics Programs Lab, is growing a deployable light-weight composite growth and photo voltaic sail system for the Superior Composite Photo voltaic Sail System (ACS3) mission, the primary use of composite booms for a photo voltaic sail in orbit.
The system is photo voltaic powered, an alternative choice to rocket propellant and electrical propulsion programs. Counting on daylight affords choices in spacecraft design that may in any other case be unavailable.
The composite booms are deployed from a 12-unit (12U) CubeSat, a cost-effective nanosatellite measuring solely 23 cm x 34 cm. When in comparison with conventional metallic deployable booms, the ACS3 booms are 75% lighter and expertise 100 instances much less thermal distortion when uncovered to warmth.
As soon as in area, the CubeSat will rapidly deploy the solar energy arrays and unfurl the composite booms, taking solely 20 to half-hour. The square-shaped sails, product of a versatile polymer materials strengthened with carbon fiber, measure roughly 9 meters on either side. The composite materials is right for the mission, as it may be rolled for compact storage however maintains power and is immune to bending and warping when uncovered to temperature change. Onboard cameras will doc the form and alignment of the deployed sail for evaluation.