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Rock West composites delivers panels for 500-watt arrays to Astro Digital for their higher-power buses

This month, Rock West Composites (RWC) delivered panels for Astro Digital’s new 500-watt arrays to support higher power versions of Astro Digital’s Corvus buses. RWC built the sandwich panels from trace/lead integrated skins that allowed for direct integration with solar cells, saving weight and integration time for the customer.

Rock West composites delivers panels for 500-watt arrays to Astro Digital for their higher-power buses
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Rock West Composites announces the delivery this month of panels for Astro Digital’s new 500-watt arrays to support higher power versions of their Corvus buses. RWC teamed with Astro Digital to fabricate solar array substrate (SAS) panels with a unique integrated design to save volume and weight. These panels are being integrated into space vehicles, the first of which is scheduled to launch in October.

These SAS panels are unique in that RWC built the sandwich panels from trace/lead integrated skins that allowed for direct integration with solar cells. This reduced total weight and shortened the integration time. The customer furnished the G10 (fibreglass) skins that already had the integrated copper traces. RWC used specialised tooling to align the face skins on the aluminium honeycomb core to keep the traces in the right location during fabrication of the approximately 2’ x 2’ structures.

Jeremy Senne, Space Segment Director, said, “This is a great example of how we can help our customers solve their problems in innovative ways. It was a tooling and machining challenge to work with their pre-integrated skins, but our experience on other precision programs enabled successful fabrication.”

Back of Rock West composite panels

About Rock West Composites

Rock West Composites is an employee-owned, advanced composites company. RWC develops, engineers, manufactures, and tests composite products for multiple industries including space (bus structures; solar array panels and wings; launch vehicle structures; optical, payload and deployable structures), aerospace & defense (radomes, munitions, unmanned systems, reflectors), aircraft (new and replacement parts) and commercial equipment (automation, medical, energy, and sporting). The company is also one of the largest ecommerce suppliers of off-the-shelf carbon fibre tubes, plates, materials, and accessories.

Rock West Composites has locations in San Diego, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Baja California, Mexico.

Photos: Rock West Composites.

More information www.rockwestcomposites.com