Undergraduate YPEC 2020

UG23 – Automatic solar tracking system on Mars by 4D printing

For the most automatic solar tracking system nowadays, they are achieved by a bunch of extra electrical applications involving rotation motors, sun-tracking hardware and software, and of course, electricity. Notwithstanding their production cost, they actually increase the difficulty and complexity of assembly. It is believed that it can only be worse on Mars than Earth as space companies have to eliminate all unnecessary parts to reduce complexity and weights. By the latest 2020 4D printing technology, a revolutionary reversible 4D printing material has been developed, where there’s no need for stimulus like hydrogel nor human interference but only heat to reverse the material back to its original shape. They are VeroWhitePlus and TangoBlackPlus with considerable mechanical strength, which can use as calculated structural support under the solar panel. It relies on the changing levels of heat during the different times of the day to change its shape so that with a pivot, the angle of the solar panel could be changed during different times of a day to attain maximum energy efficiency on Mars.