Improving Space Utilization by Increasing Solar Array Reliability
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Reliable power delivery over the mission life is critical to all satellites; therefore solar arrays are one of the most vital links to satellite mission success. However, in the last ten years, the Ascend Division of Airclaims has documented 117 satellite solar array anomalies, 12 of which resulted in total satellite failure, making solar array reliability a serious issue. This paper will discuss satellite power system issues with the focus on solar array reliability issues. Suggestions for next steps that could be taken by the satellite industry to improve the reliability of the solar arrays will be included. Ways to improve solar arrays for high power and geosynchronous power will also be discussed in an effort to address some of the main failure trends seen in the satellite anomaly analysis. Solar array reliability is an issue that must be addressed to take space utilization to the next level.
author list (cited authors)
Brandhorst, H., & Rodiek, J.