The purpose of this effort, titled Lunar Solar Array Monolithic Truss Segment (MTS), is to directly support NASA’s need for improved technologies for a vertically deployed, retractable, sun tracking solar array through structural and manufacturing innovation of the telescoping truss segment (TTS) of the Compact Telescoping Array (CTA). The scope of work is limited to developing and validating a modular molding process to enable the fabrication of a monolithic truss composite truss segment and generating manufacturing method mitigates risk of bonded members, increases compaction, and structural performance of the truss segment. Primary methods applied during this effort are to include mold tooling redesign for machining, design and evaluation of co-cured latching and deployment mechanisms. Additionally, a nested two truss segment prototype will be fabricated and tested to evaluate high cycle deployment/retraction capability and structural performance of the integrated mechanisms and composite truss.
NASA programs involving high power solar arrays may be particularly interested in the Compact Telescoping Array (CTA) technology as it directly supports the lightweight needs of future very high-power SEP mission requirements both near and far term. The MTS also supports NASA’s vision for robotic assembly in the form of the Tension Actuated in Space Manipulator or TALISMAN. Long reach manipulators will be constructed from high performance truss assemblies. This is true of the proposed designs for Talisman.
The CTA architecture an MTS can supply high amounts of solar electric power for a variety of space a terrestrial operation. The CTA’s highly scalable, low mass, high compaction, deployable and retractable capability paired with the low cost and high performance of the MTS offer high power capability for commercial lunar landers, rovers, space stations, satellites and terrestrial systems.