NASA just completed a very important test on a solar array deployment test for the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite. The GPM satellite is designed to orbit the Earth from the Antarctic to the Arctic Circle. While it orbits it will use solar panels on its wings to absorb the sun’s rays for power.
These solar arrays are designed to extend when in space. In order to do this, small “Frangibolts” are triggered which discharge several small explosions to extend the panels. The test went incredibly well, and after the wings had extended they were able to fold back up again completing the test.
Although there is still some work to be done on the GPM, this test proves that things are off to a good start. Like all things that go into space, this test was conducted in one of NASA’s cleanrooms. Check out the video below for more information.