The solar panels built for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R series have been tested, approved and sent to Lockheed Martin‘s facility in Denver to be incorporated onto the spacecraft.
NASA said Tuesday that the solar array, which contains five sections that come together to resemble a black wing, was deployed in a Lockheed clean-room in Sunnyvale, Calif. in May.
“The GOES-R solar array generates more than 4,000 watts of power, twice as much as that of the previous generation of GOES satellites, in order to operate the larger and more capable instruments carried by GOES-R,” said Pam Sullivan, GOES-R flight project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
According to NASA, the GOES-R series satellite will work to provide weather forecasts that NASA wants to use in support of the detection and observations of meteorological phenomena.
The space agency aims to enhance public safety, protection of property, and ultimately, economic health and development.
When the satellite is released into space by the launch vehicle, the solar panels will unfold into a single solar array wing that rotates once per day on orbit to continuously point the solar array photovoltaic cells towards the sun, NASA said.
The solar array is built to track the seasonal and daily movement of the sun relative to the spacecraft and help power all of the instruments, including the computers, data processors, attitude control sensors and actuators, and telecommunications equipment.
NOAA manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated NOAA-NASA program office, staffed with personnel from NOAA and NASA, and co-located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.