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The PTD 4 (Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator 4) is a 6U CubeSat technology demonstration mission to demonstrate demonstrate a very high-power, low-volume deployable solar array with an integrated antenna called the Lightweight Integrated Solar Array and anTenna, or LISA-T, being developed by NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Each PTD mission consists of a 6-unit (6U) CubeSat weighing approximately 12 kilograms and measuring 30 cm × 25 cm × 10 cm. Each PTD spacecraft will also be equipped with deployable solar arrays that provide an average of 44 watts of power while in orbit.

Current LISA-T designs are scalable from 100 to 500 watts, with options to scale up to 1000 watts and beyond. Utilizing small spacecraft for missions in deep space will necessitate the need for more electrical power, and LISA-T’s thin film solar array offers lower mass, lower stowed volume, and 300% more power per mass and volume allocation than the current state-of-the-art thick film solar arrays. Currently in development, this mission is slated for launch in mid 2023.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: NASA Ames Research Center
Contractors: NASA Ames Research Center; Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc.(bus)
Equipment: TBIRDS Laser communications terminal
Configuration: CubeSat (6U)
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 12 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
PTD 4 (LISA-T) - 2024 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with W-Series 2 (Winnebago 2), YAC 1-1, Capella TBD6, QPS-SAR 8, AWS, Tanager 1, EagleEye, Umbra-SAR 09, 10, YAM 7, MuSat 3, GNOMES 5, Hawk 10A, 10B, 10C, LUR 1, PExT, ThinkOrbital F2, ION-SCV 012, Pico 1B-1, ..., 9 Impulse 2, Hubble 3, Dione, Kanyini, PTD 4, PTD 5, Sateliot 1, 2, 3, 4, TROOP F2, WREN, Kaladin, Nanoavionics RGB, Nanoavionics SDR, Deimos, CroCube


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