RE: Solar array configurations

From: Matson, Robert (
Date: Tue Dec 24 2002 - 17:32:05 EST

  • Next message: Lloyd Wood: "RE: Solar array configurations"

    > They're the same thing - and they rotate the same.
    I think you're missing the point.  As far as how a *dead* satellite
    ends up spinning, they are most definitely NOT the same thing.  How
    the arrays articulate is immaterial.  If the X-axis in these
    diagrams points to the right (in the plane of your monitor) and
    the Y-axis points up (also in the plane of your monitor), then the
    "I" configuration will always end up spinning around either the
    Y-axis (paddlewheel fashion) or Z-axis (flat spin) as I have it
    drawn.  The "H" configuration has moments of inertia that are
    less clear, and could end up rotating about the X-, Y- or Z-axes
    or anything in between depending on the masses and dimensions.
    H-configuration (S = satellite body)
     ***       ***
     * *       * *
     * *  SSS  * *
     * *--S S--* *
     * *  SSS  * *
     * *       * *
     ***       ***
     **************  SSS  **************
     *            *--S S--*            *
     **************  SSS  **************
    The vast majority of communications satellites have the I-configuration,
    probably because it simplifies array deployment.  See the following
    Loral site showing all their GEO spacecraft in orbit:
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