Space Station Freedom solar array panels plasma interaction test facility
Martin, Donald F.
Mellott, Kenneth D.
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The Space Station Freedom Power System will make extensive use of photovoltaic (PV) power generation. The phase 1 power system consists of two PV power modules each capable of delivering 37.5 KW of conditioned power to the user. Each PV module consists of two solar arrays. Each solar array is made up of two solar blankets. Each solar blanket contains 82 PV panels. The PV power modules provide a 160 V nominal operating voltage. Previous research has shown that there are electrical interactions between a plasma environment and a photovoltaic power source. The interactions take two forms: parasitic current loss (occurs when the currect produced by the PV panel leaves at a high potential point and travels through the plasma to a lower potential point, effectively shorting that portion of the PV panel); and arcing (occurs when the PV panel electrically discharges into the plasma). The PV solar array panel plasma interaction test was conceived to evaluate the effects of these interactions on the Space Station Freedom type PV panels as well as to conduct further research. The test article consists of two active solar array panels in series. Each panel consists of two hundred 8 cm x 8 cm silicon solar cells. The test requirements dictated specifications in the following areas: plasma environment/plasma sheath; outgassing; thermal requirements; solar simulation; and data collection requirements.
Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference; 31 Oct. - 3 Nov. 1989; Monterey, CA; United States
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