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

Spröwitz, Tom and Grundmann, Jan-Thimo and Seefeldt, Patric and Spietz, Peter and Hillebrandt, Martin and Jahnke, Rico and Mikulz, Eugen and Renger, Thomas and Reershemius, Siebo and Sasaki, Kaname and Sznajder, Maciej and Toth, Norbert (2019) Membrane Deployment Technology Development at DLR for Solar Sails and Large-Scale Photovoltaics. In: IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings. IEEE Aerospace Conference, 03.-08. März 2019, Big Sky, USA.

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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 space-craft, 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 struc-tures 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 verifica-tion 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 deploy-ment 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 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 m^2 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/126840/
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
Hillebrandt, MartinUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1248-9504UNSPECIFIED
Sasaki, KanameUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0365-4539UNSPECIFIED
Sznajder, MaciejUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9917-0581UNSPECIFIED
Date:March 2019
Journal or Publication Title:IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Solar Sailing, Deployment Systems, membranes, photovoltaic, environmental testing, deployment testing
Event Title:IEEE Aerospace Conference
Event Location:Big Sky, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:03.-08. März 2019
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):R - Vorhaben Systemkonditionierung (old)
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Networked Energy Systems
Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems
Institute of Space Systems > Mechanic and Thermal Systems
Institute of Space Systems > Systems Engineering and Project Office
Institute of Space Systems > Quality Management
Institute of Space Systems > Avionics Systems
Institute of Space Systems > Land and Exploration Technology
Deposited By: Spröwitz, Tom
Deposited On:20 Mar 2019 12:36
Last Modified:29 Mar 2023 00:41

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