AAC Clyde Space to Develop Solar Panels for Moog SL-OMV

Clyde Space solar panel

Glasgow company AAC Clyde Space has been chosen to develop a solar panel for Moog’s SL-OMV, or Small Launch Orbital Manoeuvring Vehicle.

The SL-OMV is designed to carry satellites which do not have their own propulsion system to their desired orbits – a capability which will be needed for the deployment of “constellations”. Moog will supply the SL-OMV to Lockheed Martin, the company which is the prime contractor in the UK Space Agency-supported UK Spaceflight Programme, which UKSA is funding to foster the British capability for commercial spaceflight and to develop the facilities and technology for space launch. Moog are conducting an upgrade of their Reading, Berkshire, facility to assemble the SL-OMV, including a 46 m2 ISO Class 8 (Class 100,000) clean room, which will be designed and built by a British firm.

The solar panel is fixed, and economical energy use aboard the SL-OMV means that the power supply requirements can be satisfied by an array fitting into the relatively small area atop the vehicle; the design is simplified by the fact that it does not need actuators or a deployment system.

The solar panel order is worth £340,000, and delivery is planned for January to March, 2021. AAC Clyde Space Chief Executive Officer Luis Gomes said that “We are delighted to have been chosen by Moog to develop and manufacture the solar panel for their part of the UK Spaceflight Programme. The SL-OMV will be a game changer for small satellites and will enable the upcoming UK launchers to deploy the complex mega constellations that AAC Clyde Space and others are developing right now”. Ian Annett, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the UK Space Agency, commented “This is a great example of how the UK government’s spaceflight programme is using national and international expertise to establish a strong and competitive commercial space launch industry in the UK. Scotland is home to a number of potential spaceport locations and some of the UK’s most innovative space companies, and the whole country will benefit from our ambition to make the UK the best place in Europe to launch small satellites.”

Summarised by Griffith Ingram

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