The Articulating Airbeam Tripod Boom for Solar Arrays effort outlined here aims to provide a rapidly deployable structure that can support and elevate solar panel arrays for use in the Artemis Program's development of a long-term facility on the Lunar south pole. This textile-based structure will feature protective coatings and no rigid/mechanical components to prevent the negative impacts of Lunar dust. The packable solution will be easily moved and redeployed numerous times to allow for localized power and adaptable functionality for Lunar surface operations.
Integrations with foldable solar arrays will help the Articulating Airbeam Tripod Boom for Solar Arrays fit into NASA priorities to use innovative materials and processes to create packable solutions that can deploy once on-site which saves valuable space during transport. Articulation features will maintain efficiency of solar arrays and an elevated height of 10m provides adaptability for use on the Moon.
NASA has expressed a specific interest in establishing a long-term presence on the Lunar South Pole because of its access to consistent sunlight. Powering this presence will require in-situ resource utilization along with portable adaptability. The Articulating Airbeam Tripod Boom for Solar Arrays provides a solution with minimal pack-volume to be easily moved to a location, re-packed moved and redeployed again multiple times. This will prove beneficial for other NASA surface missions anticipated for Mars and beyond.
Demand for portable solar arrays is expected to grow in the coming years, driven by military, outdoor adventure, off-grid living, field workers in remote locations, and disconnected or remote populations. Each of these end-users desire packable power solutions and the Articulating Airbeam Tripod Boom for Solar Arrays will be designed to adapt to the needs of these customers.