Retractable Thin Film Solar Concentrator for Spacecraft
Patent, Filed 7 Mar 97, patented 23 Mar 99
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON DC
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The invention pertains to a solar concentrator having flexible retractable reflector panels of a thin plastic film coated with aluminum or silver configured as a trough along the long edges of the solar panel and tilted so as to direct the reflected sunlight onto the solar panel in such a manner that the ray from the extreme outer edge of a reflector panel will fall on the edge of the opposite side of the solar panel, resulting in an even distribution of reflected sunlight on the solar panel for optimum performance. The flexible reflector panels are stowed during launch by rolling them around the booms or around themselves. For launch, the booms with the reflector panel rolled thereon, are stowed against the long edges of the solar panel. After launch, the booms are extended to a an angular position respective to the solar panel, by a system of pulleys and wires that keep tension on the reflector panels as the reflector panels are deployed as the plurality of sections of the solar panel are extended to a flat position.
- Electric Power Production and Distribution
- Unmanned Spacecraft