Solar Array Deployment Systems
Honeybee Robotics has a history of high-performance solar array deployment systems for spacecraft.
Our modular Solar Array Drive Mechanism (SADM) is based on our heritage in flight-qualified solar array drives and other precision positioning devices for spacecraft, including a bi-axial solar array drive for AFRL’s Deployable Structures Experiment (DSX) and MSL 2009’s Sample Manipulation System (SMS). The modular nature allows for interchangable components to tailor functionality and capability to meet specific mission requirements. We developed the preliminary design of a synchronized solar array deployment mechanism for Bigelow Aerospace’s Genesis I spacecraft, which launched in 2006.
Honeybee also develops precise locking deployment hinges for solar panels and other appendages. Our hinges exhibit high deployed stiffness and strength, which enables agile maneuvering and alleviates requirements of the spacecraft attitude control system to compensate for structural flexibility of the solar arrays. Honeybee deployment systems are flight proven on USAF STPSat-1, launched in 2007, which had 8 Honeybee hinges deploy 4 panels with 100% success. Building on this success, Honeybee delivered 6 hinges to NSPO for the FORMOSAT-5 satellite, which launched in 2017.