A directionally-controlled roll-out elastically deployable solar array structure is disclosed. The structure includes one or more longitudinal elastic roll out booms that may be closed section or open section to allow for efficient rolled packaging onto a lateral mandrel. A flexible photovoltaic blanket is attached to a tip structure and to a lateral base support structure, but remains uncoupled from the longitudinal booms. The solar array system may be stowed simultaneously into a rolled package comprised of the roll out booms and the flexible planar blanket together, or onto independent rolls. Alternatively, the system may be stowed by rolling the booms, and accordion Z-folding the hinged flexible photovoltaic blanket into a flat stack. Structural deployment is motivated by the elastic strain energy of the roll out booms, and several methods of deployment direction control are provided to ensure a known, controlled, and unidirectional deployment path of the elastically unrolling booms.
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