Energy Balance Analysis: The Effect of Spacecraft Shadowing on Solar Array Performance
The first element of the International Space Station (ISS), Zarya, was funded by NASA and built by the Russian aerospace company Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (KhSC). NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and KhSC collaborated in performing analytical predictions of the on-orbit electrical performance of Zarya’s solar arrays. GRC assessed the pointing characteristics of and shadow patterns on Zarya’s solar arrays to determine the average solar energy incident on the arrays. KhSC used the incident energy results to determine Zarya’s electrical power generation capability and orbit-average power balance. The power balance analysis was performed over a range of solar beta angles and vehicle operational conditions. This analysis enabled identification of problems that could impact the power balance for specific flights during ISS assembly and was also used as the primary means of verifying that Zarya complied with electrical power requirements. Analytical results are presented for select stages in the ISS assembly sequence along with a discussion of the impact of shadowing on the electrical performance of Zarya’s solar arrays.