02 October 2011
Clyde Space have developed a double deployable solar panel system for CubeSats. The aim is increase the generated power available on-board a CubeSat mission for a number of different mission scenarios and orbits. The system is designed to provide a double faced solution, meaning that power can be generated from front and back of the deployed arrays, essential for missions that are not sun tracking (i.e. imaging missions in a sun-synchronous orbit).
The system has an integrated thermal knife and driver and is designed to be CubeSat structure independant (i.e. the hinges and operation do not require structure modifications). It is possible to integrate the deployed solar panel to a CubeSat structure as easy as if it were a body-mounted only panel - this makes the design highly compatible with the CubeSat plug-n-play approach. The system has passed environmental tests at ambient, +80C and -40C.