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Invited Paper Infrared Technology Comes To State-Of-The-Art Solar Array Production
Author(s): J. R. Hodor; H. J. Decker; J. Barney
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Paper Abstract

A new generation of solar arrays is in production utilizing technology capable of satisfying the large (possibly flexible) solar array requirements of developing space programs, such as Milstar and Space Station. These programs have turned to infrared technology to satisfy five of their production needs. First, in the welding of solar cells to their interconnect circuitry (module production) a high speed, infrared thermal controller is utilized to stop the welding process when a preset temperature at the weld area is attained. Second, after an actual weld is made, it is inspected with a laser-based, infrared stress sensor to determine its presence and, potentially, its quality (strength). Third, these welded solar cell modules are inspected for cracks and abnormal stresses with an infrared microscope before their integration into panels (arrays). Fourth, the bond quality of solar cell panel substrates (skin plies and skin to inner honeycomb) and of the individual solar cells to the substrate are reliably determined by infrared thermographic techniques. Last, the final arrays and panels are inspected for cracks, and weld joint presence and quality utilizing infrared sensors with stress visualizing and quantizing capabilities. In order to efficiently perform these tasks, large automated (computer-based) systems position the sensors or the workpiece, perform measurements and calculations, and evaluate the results for process control.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 November 1987
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0819, Infrared Technology XIII, (10 November 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.941797
Show Author Affiliations
J. R. Hodor, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Inc. (United States)
H. J. Decker, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Inc. (United States)
J. Barney, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0819:
Infrared Technology XIII
Irving J. Spiro, Editor(s)

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