STS-120 The Solar Arrays Wings
In a NASA pre-flight interview with Commander Pam Melroy she stated the following about the objective related to the solar arrays:
. . . . we’re taking the P6 solar array, which currently sits on top of the Z1 truss, where it’s been since 2000 when it was delivered just after the first people started living aboard the space station. And, we’re going to be moving it all the way out to the end of the port truss.
There are two SAWs designed, built and tested by Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, Calif., on the P6 module, and deployed in the opposite direction from each other. Each SAW is made up of two solar blankets mounted to a common mast. Before deployment, each panel is folded accordion style into a Solar Array Blanket Box measuring 20 inches high and 15 feet in length. Each blanket is only about 20 inches thick while in this stored position. The mast consists of interlocking battens that are stowed for launch inside a Mast Canister Assembly (MCA) designed, built and tested by ATK‐Able. The blanket boxes are deployed prior to SAW deploy. While the P6 SAWs are retracted for relocation, the blanket boxes will remain in the deployed position.
When fully deployed, the SAW extends 115 feet and spans 38 feet and extends to each side of the Integrated Equipment Assembly. Since the second SAW is deployed in the opposite direc‐tion, the total wing span is more than 240 feet.
Each SAW weighs more than 2,400 pounds and uses 32,800 solar array cells per wing, each measuring 8‐cm square with 4,100 diodes. The individual cells were made by Boeing’s Spectrolab and ASEC. There are 400 solar array cells to a string and there are 82 strings per wing. Each SAW is capable of generating nearly 32.8 kilowatts of direct current power. There are two SAWs on the P6 module yielding a total power generation capability approaching 66 kilowatts of unregulated power prior to distribution.
Source: NASA press kit for STS-120