New weather satellite’s ‘black wing’ solar panel ready for launch

By on June 30, 2014

GOES-R solar array deployment at Lockheed Martin cleanroom in Sunnyvale, Calif. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

An advanced NOAA weather satellite will receive a new highly efficient solar array that resembles a giant black wing, according to a NASA press release.

Developed by Lockheed Martin, the solar array is made up of five sections that are folded at launch. When the GOES-R weather satellite is launched, the solar array will deploy and rotate once per day to constantly track the sun.

Photovoltaic energy — that is, electricity derived from sunlight — will power all of the satellite’s instruments, including x-ray irradiance sensors, ultraviolet imagers, a magnetometer, various computers and communications devices.

Top image: GOES-R solar array deployment at Lockheed Martin cleanroom in Sunnyvale, Calif. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Artist’s rendering of the GOES-R satellite (Credit: NOAA)

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