The design of the solution is presented in detail, including a discussion of the pre-deployment configuration, the deployment process, and the final configuration. The panels, prior to deployment, are folded around the square base of the spacecraft, covering all four of its sides. To deploy them, a slight circular motion can be introduced to use centrifugal force to cause each side to fold out from the side of the satellite. A simple hinge mechanism is used to interconnect the panels and inflatable tubes or wire that is designed to stiffen in a straightened orientation when electrified, are used to move the panels into their final position and provide rigidity.
The efficacy of the proposed technology is considered in the context of the Martian mission. This demonstrates its mass and volume efficiency as well as the utility of the approach for enabling the mission. A qualitative analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of the approach is presented. A discussion of the technology’s overall impact on mission design is presented, before concluding with a discussion of the next steps for the research.