Performance of the
Cooperative Solar Array After 2.5 Years in Orbit
The Mir Cooperative Solar Array (MCSA) was developed jointly by the United States and Russia to produce 6 kW of power for the Russian space station Mir. Four, multi-orbit test sequences were executed between June 1996 and December 1998 to measure MCSA electrical performance. A dedicated Fortran computer code was developed to analyze the detailed thermal-electrical performance of the MCSA. The computational performance results compared very favorably with the measured flight data in most cases. Minor performance degradation was detected in one current generating section of the MCSA. Yet overall, the flight data indicated the MCSA was meeting and exceeding performance expectations. There was no precipitous performance loss due to contamination or other causes after 2.5 years of operation. In this paper, we review the MCSA flight electrical performance tests, data and computational modeling and discuss findings from data comparisons with the computational results.