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Solar power system options for the Radiation and Technology Demonstration spacecraft

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3 Author(s)
Kerslake, T.W. ; NASA Glenn Res. Center, Cleveland, OH, USA ; Haraburda, F.M. ; Riehl, J.P.

The Radiation and Technology Demonstration (RTD) Mission has the primary objective of demonstrating high-power (10 kilowatts) electric thruster technologies in Earth orbit. This paper discusses the conceptual design of the RTD spacecraft photovoltaic (PV) power system and mission performance analyses. These power system studies assessed multiple options for PV arrays, battery technologies and bus voltage levels. To quantify performance attributes of these power system options, a dedicated Fortran code was developed to predict power system performance and estimate system mass. The low-thrust mission trajectory was analyzed and important Earth orbital environments were modeled. Baseline power system design options are recommended on the basis of performance, mass and risk/complexity. Important findings from parametric studies are discussed and the resulting impacts to the spacecraft design and cost

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 2 )