On Monday, SpaceX delivered NovaWurks' eXCITe small satellite into LEO orbit. NovaWurks relayed to us on Tuesday that eXCITE's Pumpkin Deployable Clamshell Solar Arrays (DCSAs) using our PMDSAS technology had deployed, were delivering their expected power, and eXCITe was already operational. Small space has become truly responsive.
Pumpkin's relationship with NovaWurks harkens back to the NGC/NovaWorks Mayflower 3U CubeSat mission, for which Pumpkin built a deployable 56W solar array in 2009. No comparable array existed at that time; ten weeks after an initial meeting, Pumpkin had delivered the all-new functional array to NovaWorks, and in 2010 the LEO mission executed successfully, carrying the NGC/NovaWorks core 2U and an additional 1U payload named Caerus from USC/ISI. To date, Mayflower is apparently the highest power-to-weight spacecraft ever built (56W in 4kg), and Pumpkin's 56W array was a critical enabling component.
The 56W Mayflower array was the genesis for Pumpkin's current wide range of PMDSAS(TM) solar arrays. The Pumpkin DCSA on eXCITe uses the fifth generation of Pumpkin's PMDSAS solar panel technology, stows safely in its own clamshell, and when released, deploys to two independent strings of solar cells.
For this eXCITe mission, Pumpkin originally delivered two 112W DCSAs. By the time the various payloads of the eXCITe mission were finalized in 2018, Pumpkin had increased the power of each DCSA array to 176W within the same footprint, thereby demonstrating the overall versatility of the DCSA. Pumpkin also built the fixed solar panels on each HiSat cell in eXCITe. The DCSA and other space-proven Pumpkin PMDSAS solutions are available as COTS offerings.
We wish NovaWurks all the best in this holiday season, for their eXCITe mission.