Press Release

Honeybee Robotics delivers solar array deployment mechanisms for FORMOSAT-5 satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
July 19, 2012
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Proven latching hinge mechanisms for Taiwanese National Space Organization’s satellite offer high deployed stiffness to enable high-resolution imaging

Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation today announced it has delivered a solar array deployment system to the National Space Organization (NSPO) in Taiwan for the agency’s new FORMOSAT-5 imaging satellite. The system of release and hinge mechanisms is a flight-tested design that will deploy dual solar arrays and lock them in a stiff configuration, minimizing structural flexibility to enable the satellite’s primary mission of high-resolution Earth imaging.

Honeybee delivered two flight models and one qualification model, a total of six hinges and six release mechanisms. The design is based on flight-tested hardware that successfully deployed solar arrays on USAF STPSat-1, launched in 2007, which had 8 Honeybee hinges deploy 4 panels with 100% success.

“With a high-resolution imaging system as its primary payload, FORMOSAT-5 required solar array deployment mechanisms which provided a very stiff structure once deployed,” said Erik Mumm, Vice President & Director of Flight Systems, Honeybee Robotics. “Our development approach was based on deep experience delivering reliable, flight-tested spaceflight mechanisms. We’re excited to reach this milestone with NSPO and wish FORMOSAT-5 complete success.”

FORMOSAT-5 is a 525-kg imaging satellite that will occupy a sun-synchronous orbit at 720 km. Its primary payload includes two instruments: an optical Remote Sensing Instrument (RSI), which provides 2-meter-resolution panchromatic images and 4-meter-resolution multi-spectral images. An Advanced Ionospheric Probe (AIP) will be the secondary payload. FORMOSAT-5 is currently scheduled to launch in 2014.

Images of the SADM module are available at

John Abrashkin
Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation
460 W. 34th Street, New York, NY 10001
(646) 459-7810 (office)
(917) 715-9009 (mobile)

SpaceRef staff editor.