Development of a New, High-Power Solar Array for Telecommunication Satellites

E3S Web of Conferences. 2017;16:01006 DOI 10.1051/e3sconf/20171601006


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: E3S Web of Conferences

ISSN: 2267-1242 (Online)

Publisher: EDP Sciences

LCC Subject Category: Geography. Anthropology. Recreation: Environmental sciences

Country of publisher: France

Language of fulltext: French, English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Zimmermann C.G.
Bals A.
Übner A.
Schlerka F.
Schindler A.


Editorial review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 6 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Airbus is currently developing the Next Generation Solar Array (NGSA) for telecommunication satellites. It is based on a hybrid array concept which combines a conventional rigid panel array with lightweight, semi-rigid lateral panels. The main figures of merit power/mass and power/volume can be doubled through this concept. Mechanically, the semi-rigid panels are the key new element. Through acoustic testing as well as sine vibration testing in air and in vacuum it was verified that these panels are suitable as cell support in stowed configuration. With the help of finite element modelling it is demonstrated that the semi-rigid panels are compatible with a free deployment. Electrically, the new array is to be equipped with a new generation of 4 junction solar cells with efficiencies above 30%. The increased radiation dose due to electric orbit raising has to be taken into account to arrive at the optimum shielding while still minimizing the array mass. By adjusting the ratio of rigid to semi-rigid panels and through the choice of solar cell type and mass, the NGSA can be tailored in a wide range to needs of a given platform. This is illustrated for the solar array to be flown on the new Airbus platform Eurostar Neo.