Space Exploration Technologies has been granted a patent for a solar array system that deploys a solar array blanket on a spacecraft. The system includes an extendable frame with support arms and biasing members to move the blanket from a stowed to a deployed configuration. GlobalData’s report on Space Exploration Technologies gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Space Exploration Technologies, V2V communication antennas was a key innovation area identified from patents. Space Exploration Technologies's grant share as of April 2024 was 50%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Solar array deployment system for spacecraft

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Space Exploration Technologies Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11958638B1) discloses a system for deploying a solar array blanket portion relative to a spacecraft. The system includes an extendable frame with multiple support arms and pivot pin assemblies, hinge assemblies, and biasing members to support the solar array blanket in a deployed position. The biasing members, such as extension springs, extend between the support arms to assist in deploying the solar array blanket and maintaining it in the deployed configuration. The system also features hinge brackets and retaining pins to secure the biasing members and ensure proper functioning during deployment.

Furthermore, the patent describes a solar array system for a spacecraft that includes an extendable frame with support arms and biasing members to facilitate the movement of the solar array blanket from a stowed to a deployed configuration. The biasing members, in the form of springs, are designed to push the support arms away from each other, aiding in the deployment process. Additionally, the system incorporates a stop assembly to prevent the support arms from moving into an inverted configuration, ensuring the stability of the deployed solar array blanket. Overall, the patented system offers a structured and efficient mechanism for deploying and supporting solar array blankets on spacecraft, enhancing their functionality and performance in space environments.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.