Dynovas’ Motorless Array Deployment (MAD) Energy system maximizes the power per weight and power per volume efficiency of multi-cycle deployable/retractable arrays in support of the Space Policy Directive 1. The MAD energy system weighs up to 10% less than traditional arrays by eliminating the motor drive for deployment. Instead, solar array deployment and retraction are actuated by pieozoelectrics mounted to the array structure that excite the array substrate through bistable extended and coiled geometries. The piezo alignment and substrate design will be optimized as part of this program to minimize the radius of curvature around which the array can coil, thereby maximizing the packaging efficiency. Furthermore, the electrically driven actuators provide a dual purpose for the electrically conductive paths harvesting energy from the array’s solar cells.
The “snap through” behavior in the MAD energy system’s structure is much like that of a tape measure or a “slap” bracelet (the novelty children’s toy). The extended geometry maintains a subtle curvature such as c-shaped or lenticular. When coiled, the structure lays flat for a packaging efficiency up to and exceeding 100 kW/m3. The potential energy of the asymmetric layup, when excited, enables the transition from coiled (retracted) to extended (deployed), or vice versa.
To accelerate readiness for missions as early as 2024, the MAD energy system is leveraging high TRL technologies already demonstrated in space or laboratory-based testing. The use of high TRL subsystems and leveraging decades of prior deployable structure development allows the focus of the MAD Energy system development to be on the system level packaging and TRL maturation of the lightweight, high packaging efficient piezoelectric actuation.
Dynovas aligned the development of the MAD Energy system with the mission schedules for the lander development, rover operations, and future lunar missions.
The MAD Energy system aligns with the NASA taxonomy category TX03.1.1 Photovoltaic sub-group, which includes 25-150 kW class solar arrays and reliably retractable solar arrays, which are directly applicable to the MAD energy system. Furthermore, the Lunar surface missions are an explicit mission plan on the Technology Area 3 – Space Power and Energy Storage Roadmap enabling technologies. Specific NASA missions include: Artemis, Asteroid Redirect, Lunar Surface Exploration, Mars Moons, Mars Orbit/Surface Exploration
Power generation for networks of satellites and/or cube satellites for global communication networks; operation on spacecraft for orbiting debris removal, experimentation satellites, etc; non-space-based markets could include remotely operated electrically driven vehicles or deployment with Special Operators or forward deployed military facilities for on-demand power.