Useful I would think for interplanetary probes that need vast arrays when sent to Jupiter and beyond
A little confused why the AF calls it a "success story" before it's even tested in space...
"ROSA is stowed in the trunk of the SpaceXís Dragon capsule during launch. Once on orbit, the ISS robotic arm removes ROSA from the Dragon trunk and temporarily stows it on an ELC. When ROSA operations are ready to begin, the ROSA is picked up by the ISS robotics arm and located in its operations location. The ROSA operations are conducted while attached to the SSRMS/SPDM for a duration of 7 days."http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/2139.html
It's hard to think of anything in orbit that WOULDN'T benefit. I suppose a Hubble-like telescope which needs extremely, ridiculously fine pointing might prefer something a little stiffer, but that's a pretty small list of things. And Hubble did fine for a few years with a similar array.
I was told in the CRS-11 thread that this will have a dummy load. I'm curious how they plan to dump the waste heat. Does it include a radiator assembly?
"The U.S. Air Force has funded a test flight of the ROSA mechanism, now scheduled for a SpaceX launch in Spring 2017 (SpX-11) to the International Space Station, where it will be deployed in space."http://www.nasa.gov/feature/roll-out-solar-array-technology-benefits-for-nasa-commercial-sector
This is the best source I've found that explains how it maintains it's rigidity. http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a444956.pdf Does anyone have a link to any more information?