30 Jul '16, 8pm

How Juno Gathers Solar Power 588 Million KM from Sun

NASA's Juno spacecraft is a study in low power equipment powered improved solar-cell efficiency and array-structure design. The Juno spacecraft, launched from Earth in 2011, has an amazing solar array that has powered the dauntless spacecraft on its five-year journey into space and even now as it settles into an 18-month orbit of our solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter. NASA chose a photovoltaic power system due to a shortage of plutonium coupled with improved solar cell efficiency and array structure design. The almost 19,000 cells on Juno are outfitted on three arrays the length of a big rig tractor trailer. In Earth orbit, the solar panels would generate 14 kilowatts of electricity, but when Juno settles into its orbit around Jupiter, they will only output a weak 400 watts. It is fortunate that the scientific instrumentation and onboard computer are very energy effic...

Full article: http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=13...

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