Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech

ROSA, a new solar array technology from NASA, is a lightweight mesh material that can be rolled up around a spindle and stowed in a more compact cylinder form.


(Roll Out Solar Array (ROSA) experiment is seen deployed)

This past weekend, engineers on the ground remotely rolled out the solar array using the space station's Canadarm2. The array will remain attached to the robotic arm for seven days. This experiment will test the overall effectiveness of the advanced solar wing. ROSA was delivered to the orbiting lab on June 5 aboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship.

"We want to show that we can pull the wing back in in a predictable way," Jeremy Banik, the experiment's principal investigator and a senior research engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico, said in a statement. "A practical reason is that we have to pull it back for stowage after this investigation, but it will be good to know it can be done for future applications, potentially for a highly maneuverable spacecraft."

"We get more power by using larger solar arrays. But efficiently packaging them for launch and then deploying those big arrays by a spacecraft has been the challenge," Al Tadros, SSL vice president of Civil and Department of Defense Business, said in a June 8 statement. "What the work on ROSA has done is develop a technique to deploy very large surface areas of flexible solar arrays, doing that efficiently with low risk. It's more power without increasing the mass dramatically."

In his excellent short story Sail 25, Jack Vance describes the process of unfurling a delicate film in space, in this case, a solar sail:

Around the hull swung the gleaming hoop, and now the carrier brought up the sail, a great roll of darkly shining stuff. When unfolded and unrolled, and unfolded many times more, it became a tough, gleaming film, flimsy as gold leaf. Unfolded to its fullest extent it was a shimmering disk, already rippling and bulging to the light of the sun. The cadets fitted the film to the hoop, stretched it taut as a drumhead, cemented it in place...
(Read much more about the Light Sail)

Via Space.com.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/28/2017)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.' - Robert Heinlein, 1966.

I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.

Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...' - Philip K. Dick, 1953.

Will You Live To See EM Pulse Scattering By Ships Nearing Light Speed?
'...half a million kilometers away, the Stardrive went on.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1953.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.'

LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.'

Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land
High Plains, indeed.

Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.

Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.

Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.

Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?

I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.

When Will The Feds Ban Human Drivers?
'The first laws came out forcing the old machines off the highways...'

Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Will You Live To See EM Pulse Scattering By Ships Nearing Light Speed?
'...half a million kilometers away, the Stardrive went on.'

Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…'

Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.