A Parametric Assessment of the Mission Applicability of Thin-film Solar Arrays
- Hoffman, David J.
- August 2002.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- Results are presented from a parametric assessment of the applicability and spacecraft-level impacts of very lightweight thin-film solar arrays with relatively large deployed areas for representative space missions. The most and least attractive features of thin-film solar arrays are briefly discussed. A calculation is then presented illustrating that from a solar array alone mass perspective, larger arrays with less efficient but lighter thin-film solar cells can weigh less than smaller arrays with more efficient but heavier crystalline cells. However, a spacecraft-level systems assessment must take into account the additional mass associated with solar array deployed area: the propellant needed to desaturate the momentum accumulated from area-related disturbance torques and to perform aerodynamic drag makeup reboost. The results for such an assessment are presented for a representative low Earth orbit (LEO) mission, as a function of altitude and mission life, and a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) mission. Discussion of the results includes a list of specific mission types most likely to benefit from using thin-film arrays. The presentation concludes with a list of issues to be addressed prior to use of thin-film solar arrays in space and the observation that with their unique characteristics, very lightweight arrays using efficient, thin film cells on flexible substrates may become the best array option for a subset of Earth orbiting and deep space missions.
- Document ID: 20020081266.
Space Power Workshop 2002; 22-25 Apr. 2002; Redondo Beach, CA; United States.
- No Copyright.
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