When Elon Musk unveiled Dragon v2 last year, we got our first truly good look at what SpaceX's crew vehicle is like. Apart from the ability to propulsively land, one of the big changes was the lack of extendable solar panels on the vehicle, rather they're now wrapped radially around the trunk. As seen here:
I can only assume this is for reliability reasons and to eliminate more moving components. Something I've wondered however, is how will the solar panels be encapsulated for protection against the aerodynamic forces that occur during launch? They're even present on the fins of the trunk, which are aerodynamic surfaces themselves (!), designed to keep the capsule oriented correctly in an abort scenario.
For a second, take a look at Dragon, both in orbit, and attached to Falcon 9. The latter is significantly more aerodynamic than how it looks in space.
There's a few main differences:
The Draco engines are covered with a plastic-like cover which get ripped off either during launch or on the first thruster firing.
The nose cone hides the CBM inside and is jettisoned around the time a Falcon 9 fairing is.
Most importantly, the solar panels on Dragon v1 are encapsulated in an aerodynamic fairing that presumably gets jettisoned during the flight up.
The first two are easily solved. For #1, I can only assume the Draco thrusters will be similarly covered up, and the SuperDracos are at an angle where they shouldn't need covering. And for the nose cone, that stays attached to Dragon and is reusable.
My question is, how will the solar panels on the Dragon v2 be protected from the elements that occur during launch? Some kind of tempered glass, fairing to be jettisoned? Or will the be left exposed?