NASA has partnered withÂ Deployable Space Systems andÂ Space Systems Loral to develop solar cell structures designed to power government space vehicles or commercial communications satellites.
Roll Out Solar ArrayÂ will work to convert the sun’s rays into energyÂ that couldÂ driveÂ ion thrusters ofÂ solar electric propulsion spacecraft for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission and other deep-space exploration programs, the agency said Thursday.
The U.S. Air ForceÂ committed to financeÂ a testÂ ofÂ ROSA, which the military service plansÂ to deploy withÂ a SpaceX cargo resupply spacecraft scheduled to flyÂ to the International Space Station inÂ spring 2017.
Al Tadros, vice president of Space Systems Loral’sÂ civil and defense unit, said he believes the technology also has potential to increase a commercialÂ satellite’s ability to facilitateÂ broadband and ultra high-definition television services.
DSS and SSLÂ seekÂ to integrateÂ the arrayÂ into the latter company’sÂ 1300Â series satellite platform, according to NASA.