NASA's ALBus CubeSat was launched from New Zealand on 16 December 2018. ALBus is a 3U CubeSat serving as a testbed for a high power electrical system, and the use of shape memory alloys (SMAs) in its solar panel hinges and release mechanism.
Pumpkin designed and built the ALBus solar panels to NASA GRC's specifications within a very short time period. Additionally, ALBus utilizes a Pumpkin CubeSat Kit 3U structure. While the fixed 7S1P panels were relatively standard in their layout, the deployable 7S1P panels had special design features to accommodate ALBus' SMA hinges and the SMA-based release mechanism. Pumpkin worked with NASA GRC early career engineers to resolve all of these special requirements in an elegant fashion.
NASA has provided detailed technical information on ALBus and its development.
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