Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Sarah Harding


The purpose of this project is to improve the existing Solar Array Suspension Mechanism used by ATK Space for the manufacturing and testing of deployable solar arrays. The current system requires too much time to operate and has too many removable parts that may fall and damage the solar arrays. Through the design and verification process the team successfully constructed a quick connecting suspension mechanism that requires no tools to use and has no removable parts. The final design includes the existing force gauge and large adjustment bars used by ATK Space with the addition of a compression spring adjustment mechanism and a Socket Stud connection mechanism. The system was proof loaded at 300 lbs without any components yielding. The lowest factor of safety is about 5.2, which can be found on the Socket Stud. The estimated cost of the system is $2900, which is significantly less than the specified $8000 maximum cost.