Proven latching hinge mechanisms for Taiwanese National Space Organization's satellite offer high deployed stiffness to enable high-resolution imaging
Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation today announced it has delivered a solar array deployment system to the National Space Organization (NSPO) in Taiwan for the agency's new FORMOSAT-5 imaging satellite. The system of release and hinge mechanisms is a flight-tested design that will deploy dual solar arrays and lock them in a stiff configuration, minimizing structural flexibility to enable the satellite's primary mission of high-resolution Earth imaging.
Honeybee delivered two flight models and one qualification model, a total of six hinges and six release mechanisms. The design is based on flight-tested hardware that successfully deployed solar arrays on USAF STPSat-1, launched in 2007, which had 8 Honeybee hinges deploy 4 panels with 100% success.
"With a high-resolution imaging system as its primary payload, FORMOSAT-5 required solar array deployment mechanisms which provided a very stiff structure once deployed," said Erik Mumm, Vice President & Director of Flight Systems, Honeybee Robotics. "Our development approach was based on deep experience delivering reliable, flight-tested spaceflight mechanisms. We're excited to reach this milestone with NSPO and wish FORMOSAT-5 complete success."
FORMOSAT-5 is a 525-kg imaging satellite that will occupy a sun-synchronous orbit at 720 km. Its primary payload includes two instruments: an optical Remote Sensing Instrument (RSI), which provides 2-meter-resolution panchromatic images and 4-meter-resolution multi-spectral images. An Advanced Ionospheric Probe (AIP) will be the secondary payload. FORMOSAT-5 is currently scheduled to launch in 2014.
Images of the SADM module are available at http://www.honeybeerobotics.com/product-examples/flight/44-hinge.
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