ISS Solar Array Mast Flex Batten Impact Test
The ISS solar arrays are deployed and supported by a retractable articulated mast known as the Folding Articulated Square Truss (FAST) Mast. The FAST Mast is comprised of 32 segments with each one containing 4 flex batten assemblies. The flex battens are a critical part of the solar array mast assemblies and it is important to understand damage that may occur to one when struck by micrometeroids or orbital debris.
FAST Mast flex battens are constructed from fiberglass and are covered in a silicon coating. The battens act as a compression spring by inducing tension in the diagonal cables and compression in the rigid battens. This test was designed to examine the outcome of a direct impact test performed on a spare flex batten to understand the resulting damage.
|Diameter||0.07 inches||Mass||0.00859 grams|
|Velocity||15,658 miles per hour|
|Impact Angle||0 degrees|
Successful impacts on the test article are extensively photographed to record resulting damage and to supplement post-test analysis. The following images are from the ISS Solar Array Mast Flex Batten hypervelocity impact test. This test helped characterize the damage to a flex batten resulting from a direct impact and will help in understanding the overall impact to the FAST Mast from a potential MMOD hit.