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ATK's PUMA Solar Arrays Successfully Complete 90th Deployment
by Staff Writers
Arlington VA (SPX) Dec 09, 2013


File image: SES-8 satellite.

ATK has announced that its Planar Unfolding Modular Array (PUMA) solar arrays were successfully deployed on Orbital Science's SES-8 satellite, which launched last night and will carry communications for SES S.A. of Luxembourg. This marks the 90th successful on-orbit deployment of an ATK solar array wing.

The PUMA solar array used on SES-8 is based on the same mechanical and electrical design used to power all of Orbital's Star 2 satellite family, of which more than 23 satellites are currently operating in geostationary Earth orbit (GEO).

"ATK has been a leader in supporting Orbital and other commercial customers with highly engineered solar power solutions," said David Shanahan, vice president and general manager of ATK's Space Components division. "We are committed to ensuring the successful operation of every satellite we support, maintaining our 100-percent flight success."

Besides the company's heritage PUMA solar arrays for GEO, ATK has flown multiple array designs that have powered missions for science, exploration and defense, including missions to Mars.

ATK's innovative solar array design line includes UltraFlexTM, selected by Orbital for the enhanced Cygnus resupply services vehicle, plus past and future Mars missions and the Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle. In addition, ATK's much larger MegaFlexTM solar array is designed specifically to meet the anticipated power demands of 350kW and higher, with very low mass and small stowed volume for future space exploration using solar electric propulsion.

"Performance and weight savings are critical for all space missions," said Shanahan. "That is why we have worked so hard to develop affordable, innovative solutions that enable larger payloads and more challenging missions."

Manufactured in Goleta, Calif., with supporting products from other ATK Space Components division facilities, ATK's PUMA arrays demonstrate low non-recurring engineering cost, low risk, ease of satellite implementation, and 100-percent flight success performance on more than 50 solar array wings on-orbit.

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