Lockheed Martin Completes Flexible Solar Array for LM 2100 Satellite

MMA flex array stow and deployment. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

MMA flex array stow and deployment. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

After years of development, Lockheed Martin completed the first flight build of its new Multi-mission Modular (MM) Solar Array. The new design is a major component of Lockheed Martin’s multi-year modernization of its LM 2100 satellite bus, which is part of its newly-enhanced family of buses.

According to Lockheed Martin, the flexible array design delivers 50 percent more power than previous rigid array designs at 30 percent less mass. By swapping rigid panels for thin sheets, the upgraded design achieves reduced weight and compact stowage. Typical rigid panels range from 0.75 to 1.5 inches thick, but the MM Array’s synthetic polymer material is just 0.002 inches thick. Its first customers are for LM 2100 series of satellites, but engineers can adapt the design for other types of spacecraft, Lockheed Martin stated.

“The new arrays can generate 20 kilowatts of energy in orbit, enough to power an entire home. These new arrays deliver enough energy for even the most advanced communications or remote sensing payloads,” said Wahid Azizpor, manufacturing director at Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

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