Deployment test of the TGO solar arrays
The ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) solar arrays pictured during a deployment test on 29 May 2015 at the premises of Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France.
The TGO has two solar arrays, each consisting of two panels and a yoke, which is attached to the satellite structure.
Each panel is 3.12 m long and 1.74 m wide; one solar array is 7.92 m long and 1.74 m wide.
During launch, the arrays are folded flush against the side of the spacecraft. They are deployed during the early operations phase once the spacecraft has separated from the upper stage of the launcher and after the spacecraft has achieved a stable sun-pointing attitude.
The solar arrays are the only source of power on the spacecraft. Power is stored in a rechargeable battery on TGO to cover eclipse periods when there is no sunlight on the arrays. In addition, the arrays charge Schiaparelli's rechargeable battery (it also has a primary non-rechargeable battery) during the cruise phase and before separation.