Patent Number: 6,293,502

Title: System and method for enhanced solar array pointing in sun-nadir steering

Abstract: A satellite (30) programmed for sun-nadir steering and having a solar wing (36) mounted to the satellite body (35) and being selectively moveable about two mutually orthogonal axes (A, B). The solar wing (36) is mounted to the satellite body (35) by a pair of gimbals (43, 45) thus allowing two degrees of freedom and thereby permitting the solar wing (36) to be rotated about the two mutually orthogonal axes (A, B). A first motor (42) in operative engagement with the gimbal (43) selectively rotates the solar wing about the axis (A), while a second motor (46) in operative engagement with the gimbal (45) selectively rotates the solar wing about the second axis (B). A control circuit (40) is in operative engagement with the first and second motors and selectively causes the first motor to rotate the solar wing about the first axis to a predetermined position, and selectively causes the second motor to rotate the solar wing about the second axis to a predetermined position.

Inventors: Fowell; Richard A. (Culver City, CA)

Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation

International Classification: B64G 1/44 (20060101); B64G 1/42 (20060101); B64G 1/36 (20060101); B64G 1/24 (20060101); B64G 001/24 ()

Expiration Date: 09/25/2018