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Membrane Deployment Technology Development at DLR for Solar Sails and Large-Scale Photovoltaics

Spröwitz, Tom and Seefeldt, Patric and Spietz, Peter and Grundmann, Jan Thimo and Jahnke, Rico and Mikulz, Eugen and Reershemius, Siebo and Renger, Thomas and Sasaki, Kaname and Sznajder, Maciej and Toth, Norbert (2018) Membrane Deployment Technology Development at DLR for Solar Sails and Large-Scale Photovoltaics. In: IEEE Aerospace Conference. 2018 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2018-03-03 - 2018-03-10, Big Sky, Montana, USA. doi: 10.1109/AERO.2019.8741630.

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Following the highly successful flight of the first interplanetary solar sail, JAXA's IKAROS, with missions in the pipeline such as NASA's NEASCOUT nanospacecraft solar sail and JAXA's Solar Power Sail solar-electric propelled mission to a Jupiter Trojan asteroid, and on the back-ground of the ever increasing power demand of GEO satellites now including all-electric spacecraft, there is renewed interest in large lightweight structures in space. Among these, deployable membrane or 'gossamer' structures can provide very large functional area units for innovative space applications which can be stowed into the limited volumes of launch vehicle fairings as well as secondary payload launch slots, depending on the scale of the mission. Large area structures such as solar sails or high-power photovoltaic generators require a technology that allows their controlled and thereby safe deployment. Before employing such technology for a dedicated science or commercial mission, it is necessary, to demonstrate its reliability, i.e., TRL 6 or higher. A reliable technology that enables controlled deployment was developed in the GOSSAMER-1 solar sail deployment demonstrator project of the German Aerospace Center, DLR, including verification of its functionality with various laboratory tests to qualify the hardware for a first demonstration in low Earth orbit. We provide an overview of the GOSSAMER-1 hardware development and qualification campaign. The design is based on a crossed boom configuration with triangular sail segments. Employing engineering models, all aspects of the deployment were tested under ambient environment. Several components were also subjected to environmental qualification testing. An innovative stowing and deployment strategy for a controlled deployment and the required mechanisms are described. The tests conducted provide insight into the deployment process and allow a mechanical characterization of this process, in particular the measurement of the deployment forces. The stowing and deployment strategy was verified by tests with an engineering qualification model of one out of four GOSSAMER-1 deployment units. According to a test-as-you-fly approach the tests included vibration tests, venting, thermal-vacuum tests and ambient deployment. In these tests the deployment strategy proved to be suitable for a controlled deployment of gossamer spacecraft, and deployment on system level was demonstrated to be robust and controllable. The GOSSAMER-1 solar sail membranes were also equipped with small thin-film photovoltaic arrays intended to supply the core spacecraft. In our follow-on project GOSOLAR, the focus is now entirely on deployment systems for huge thin-film photovoltaic arrays. Based on the GOSSAMER-1 experience, deployment technology and qualification strategies, new technologies for the integration of thin-film photovoltaics are being developed and qualified for a first in-orbit technology demonstration within five years. Main objective is the further development of deployment technology for a 25 m² gossamer solar power generator and a flexible photovoltaic membrane. GOSOLAR enables a wider range of deployment concepts beyond solar sail optimized methods. It uses the S²TEP bus system developed at the Institute of Space Systems as part of the DLR satellite roadmap.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/121971/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Membrane Deployment Technology Development at DLR for Solar Sails and Large-Scale Photovoltaics
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Spröwitz, TomUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5369-6919UNSPECIFIED
Seefeldt, PatricUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2067-9458UNSPECIFIED
Grundmann, Jan ThimoUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8809-0981UNSPECIFIED
Sasaki, KanameUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0365-4539UNSPECIFIED
Sznajder, MaciejUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9917-0581UNSPECIFIED
Date:14 February 2018
Journal or Publication Title:IEEE Aerospace Conference
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Membrane-based structures, gossamer structures, solar sail, huge solar arrays, Gossamer-1, GoSolAr, Technology qualification, test facilities, controlled deployment
Event Title:2018 IEEE Aerospace Conference
Event Location:Big Sky, Montana, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Start Date:3 March 2018
Event End Date:10 March 2018
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space System Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Space System Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):Proj. Entfaltungstechnologie . Solar Sail (old), R - Vorhaben Systemkonditionierung (old), Systemkonditionierung (old), Huge Solar Array (old)
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Mechanic and Thermal Systems
Institute of Space Systems > Systems Engineering and Project Office
Deposited By: Grundmann, Jan Thimo
Deposited On:02 Oct 2018 12:28
Last Modified:24 Apr 2024 20:26

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