Solar Energy Crucial To Dragon Success | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 03.02.15

Airborne 03.03.15

Airborne 02.25.15

Airborne 02.26.15

Airborne 02.27.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 03.02.15

Airborne 03.03.15

Airborne 02.25.15

Airborne 02.26.15

Airborne 02.27.15

Wed, Jan 11, 2012

Solar Energy Crucial To Dragon Success

Deployable Solar Arrays Provide Spacecraft's Primary Power

For its first mission to the International Space Station, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will use deployable solar arrays as its primary power source for running sensors, driving heating and cooling systems, and communicating with SpaceX’s Mission Control Center and the Space Station. Dragon’s solar arrays generate up to 5,000 watts of power -- enough to power over 80 standard light bulbs. The solar arrays, shielded by protective covers during launch, deploy just minutes after Dragon separates from the Falcon 9 second stage, as it heads towards its rendezvous with the Space Station.

Technicians Install Deployable Solar Panels

While many commercial satellites and NASA missions such as the Hubble Space telescope use solar arrays, Dragon will be the first commercial American transport vehicle to do so.

Past American spacecraft like Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle used fuel cells or battery packs. Fuel cells are limited by the amount of chemical reactants (typically oxygen and hydrogen) that the vehicle can carry. Batteries alone are limiting due to their mass and the amount of power they can carry.

Solar energy provides a key benefit -- long-term power. Combining Dragon’s solar arrays with a compact and efficient battery pack provides a reliable and renewable source of power. When in the sun, Dragon’s solar arrays recharge the battery pack, and the charged batteries provide power while Dragon passes through the Earth’s shadow. With solar panels, Dragon will have the power it needs for longer trips, whether to the Space Station or future missions to Mars.

Artist's Concept Dragon Approaching ISS

Dragon’s deployable solar arrays were developed from scratch by a small team of SpaceX engineers. To ensure they will survive the harsh environment of space, our engineers put the solar arrays through hundreds of hours of rigorous testing including thermal, vacuum, vibration, structural and electrical testing.

SpaceX conducts most of these tests in-house. After testing was complete, the solar arrays headed to SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral launch site for final integration. The solar arrays and fairing covers that protect the folded arrays during launch have since been installed on the Dragon spacecraft in preparation for their first flight to the International Space Station. (Images provided by SpaceX)

FMI: www.spacex.com

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 03.03.15: AW189 Certified, Honeywell Heli Forecast, HondaJet Sim

Also: NBAA Likes PBOR II, Wipaire Viking Endorsement, R44 Update, PW Engine Ctr, Twirly Birds Its going to be a great week for rotorcraft as HAI gets it start in Orlando, Florida..>[...]

Airborne 03.02.15: HeliExpo, UAL Pilot Warning, WWII Flyover, RAF Aids In WV

Also: Blue Angels, Fuel Taxes, Twirly Birds, Bell 429WG, Delta Selects GoGo It’s common for airlines to issue numerous safety notice to flight crews, but United Airlines issu>[...]

AeroSports Update: FAA Revising Flight Service Operation

GA Pilots Will See Changes In Services Provided By FAA Flight Service Because Of Increased Use Of Online Computer Services Recognizing a shift in users' preferences for automated s>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (03.04.15)

SeatGuru.com Wanna get the low-down on airline seats and in-flight amenities that offers the best seat, legroom and reclining information? This is the spot.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.04.15): HIWAS

Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS).>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC