Deployment & Positioning
Solar Array Deployment System
Images of the Solar Array Deployment System are currently restricted.
Bigelow Aerospace contracted Honeybee Robotics to develop a preliminary design for a solar array deployment system for their low-cost, low earth orbit space station in development for the commercial sector. Bigelow’s unique vision is to create a flexible architecture for spacecraft utilizing unfolding and inflatable structures for manned and unmanned missions.
Honeybee Robotics designed forward- and aft deployment mechanisms for Bigelow’s Genesis solar array. The mechanism deployed 5 solar panels from a stacked configuration to a flat configuration, at which point the deployed array had to be at a predetermined angle to the spacecraft. Only one actuator was used in the mechanism to accomplish this task. The forward array, the larger of the two, could expand from a stowed height of less than 8 inches to a deployed height of approximately 115 inches. The deployment hardware was to weigh less than 5lbs. and incorporate a latching mechanism to prevent closing once the solar array was deployed. The design also allowed for integration of an external camera mounted on the top-most of the five panels. Further development continues at Bigelow Aerospace.
docm":9oil167l said:It appears Bigelow has given Honeybee Robotics the contract for building solar panel deployment hardware for their modules.
Boris_Badenov":3mipooa9 said:I don't think it's a typo, as he's talking about launching it on an Ares 5 size vehicle.
I did a few quick & dirty numbers to give a hab that size a little scale. 125 feet in length, 25 feet tall & 25 feet wide.