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German Orbital Systems jointly with Space Structures intends to design the best solar panel for cubesats on a market

(16 May 2018 - German Orbital Systems) German Orbital Systems and Space Structures join their efforts to develop, design, build and fly the most advanced solar panel for CubeSat-class small satellites on the market. The project entitled "ELSA-CS" is backed by "Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB)”.

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ELSA-CS (courtesy: German Orbital Systems)

“We believe that our new panel will enlarge the area of applications for CubeSats. Currently, the available platform power limits the use cases. Certain enabling technologies, such as electric propulsion require powerful platforms to be used effectively. In addition, while the volume and mass of typical satellite components constantly gets smaller, their power demand does not scale with the same factor. To enable further miniaturization, future CubeSats must generate more power at same or smaller form factors.”, - says CEO of German Orbital Systems, Walter Ballheimer.

The "ELSA-CS" solar panel makes use of a modular architecture, allowing reconfiguring it for various missions, ensuring its versatility and easy customization to customer’s requirements. In the planned maximum configuration, the array will be deployed six times. Stowed, it will be thin enough to fit into a typical CubeSat deployer and generate up to 125 W at BOL in LEO. “This is only possible with unprecedented miniaturization, lightweight and reliable design”, Florian Ruess, CEO of Space Structures, adds. “The partnership between German Orbital Systems and Space Structures allows us to combine the know-how of two worlds: affordable CubeSats and high performance like in traditional large satellites”.

"ELSA-CS" will be the best solution for cutting-edge 6U, 8U, 12U and 16U missions operating at various orbits – from LEO to GEO. Even interplanetary CubeSat missions, which must deal with smaller Solar constants, such as in Mars orbit, are feasible with this new array system.

German Orbital Systems and Space Structures report the high pace of development of the project and expect it to be fully qualified and enter the market in 2020.

German Orbital Systems was founded in 2014 by former scientific staff of the Technical University of Berlin and is the first German company focused on the CubeSat market. The product portfolio includes subsystems and turn-key satellite missions, which consist of the ground-, space- and launch segments. Since 2016, GOS has been responsible for the separation sequence management units on almost all Soyuz Missions. In 2018 the company introduced its innovative GROOVE on orbit verification service.

Space Structures GmbH develops high performance structures for space applications with prime contractor know-how and SME flexibility & cost.