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As electronics have become increasingly smaller and more capable, small satellites called cubesats are deployed in missions that would have taken much larger spacecraft 30 years ago. To power these satellites while in orbit, a novel solar array design is proposed by which these small satellites may harvest energy. With the inspiration of a sunflower that autonomously faces the sun as it passes overhead, a solar array possessing similar characteristics is desirable. The proposed design could generate more energy during the craft's time in the sunlight by continuously adjusting to face the sun. More energy gathered corresponds to an enhancement of the capability of these cubesats due to the ability to accomplish missions with greater scope than those currently in use.
Andrew P Murray, Dave Harry Myszka
Primary Advisor's Department
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Stander Symposium poster
"Design of a Self-Orienting Solar Array for Small Low-Earth Orbit Satellites" (2018). Stander Symposium Posters. 1254.