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Improved Performance of Degraded Solar Arrays at Non-Zero Sun Incidence Angles
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY GROUP
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A silicon solar array was flown in a high-radiation orbit with thin cover glasses. As a result, severe radiation degradation occurred. It was discovered that as degradation proceeded, the maximum array output current was obtained for sun incidence angles other than O deg for some bus voltages. Optimum angles as high as 38 deg have been observed. The analysis reported herein was undertaken in order to quantitatively explain the observed sun angle and bus voltage dependence of the array current. The resulting model, which includes temperature and radiation effects on the solar cell properties, was able to account for all of the flight data that have been collected, and can be used for power management planning purposes on this vehicle. Solar-Array Degradation, Solar-Array Temperature, Solar-Array Pointing.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE