NASA has partnered with Deployable Space Systems and Space Systems Loral to develop solar cell structures designed to power government space vehicles or commercial communications satellites.
Roll Out Solar Array will work to convert the sun’s rays into energy that could drive ion thrusters of solar electric propulsion spacecraft for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission and other deep-space exploration programs, the agency said Thursday.
The U.S. Air Force committed to finance a test of ROSA, which the military service plans to deploy with a SpaceX cargo resupply spacecraft scheduled to fly to the International Space Station in spring 2017.
Al Tadros, vice president of Space Systems Loral’s civil and defense unit, said he believes the technology also has potential to increase a commercial satellite’s ability to facilitate broadband and ultra high-definition television services.
DSS and SSL seek to integrate the array into the latter company’s 1300 series satellite platform, according to NASA.