Deployable Space Systems, Inc. (DSS) of Santa Barbara CA, announces the successful deployment in space of their Roll Out Solar Array (ROSA). The nominal flight solar array deployment was completed from the International Space Station (ISS) at 1:45 AM EST Sunday June 18th, 2017, as part of a 7-day long flight experiment of the ROSA technology now being performed on ISS (Figure 1).
The ROSA technology developed by DSS is a new and innovative mission-enabling rolled flexible blanket solar array system that offers greatly improved performance over state-of-the-art rigid panel solar arrays, as well as greater affordability for use on future NASA, DoD and commercial space missions. The DSS ROSA deployable array features an innovative "roll out" design which uses composite booms to serve as both the primary structural element and the deployment actuator. The stored strain energy of the booms enforces the unrolling deployment actuation, and when fully deployed the rigid booms provide the array's structural stiffness and strength.
GOLETA, Calif. - Sending humans to Mars. That's the mission NASA says isn't so far in the future and it's a Goleta-based company that may help power the way. Deployable Space Systems is a small business startup, founded in 2009. In that short amount of time the work they do behind closed doors in Goleta has NASA looking in. What grabbed the attention of America's space program is the revolutionary concept of a Roll-Out Solar Array or ROSA. It looks like a giant solar panel but DSS president Brian Spence says it's so much more than that.
"It rolls up and stows into a very compact volume," Spence said. "It can actually fit on a launch vehicle like a rocket." ROSA is ground-breaking. It is ultra-lightweight, strong enough to withstand the perils of space and relatively affordable compared to other in the industry. NASA's top-dog, Administrator Charles Bolden, toured DSS Tuesday morning. Taking in the impressive technology that could take his agency to new heights. "We're going to send humans to Mars for the purpose of actually occupying it and staying there," Bolden said. "And these things (DSS's ROSA Solar Array) are going to be important." Bolden says NASA is on pace to send humans to Mars by 2030. It's an ambitious goal but one that the space program and Deployable Space Systems believes can happen thanks to technological advancements like ROSA.
These technologies have applications in fixed and mobile large-area photovoltaic renewable energy systems.
The Flexible Array Concentrator Technology (FACT) is a lightweight, high-performance reflective concentrator blanket assembly that can be used on flexible solar array blankets. The FACT concentrator replaces every other row of solar cells on a solar array blanket, significantly reducing the cost of the array. The modular design is highly scalable for the array system designer, and exhibits compact stowage, good offpointing acceptance, and mass/cost savings. The assembly’s relatively low concentration ratio, accompanied by a large radiative area, provides for a low cell operating temperature, and eliminates many of the thermal problems inherent in high-concentration-ratio designs. Unlike other reflector technologies, the FACT concentrator modules function on both z-fold and rolled flexible solar array blankets, as well as rigid array systems.Read More