In order to deploy the solar panels, burn wires are used. When an electric current is passed through the burn wire, it heats up and burns through the tether holding the solar panels in place. This causes the panels to spring open. What happens if the solar panels don't deploy correctly? The Vectran tether employed is made of a specific material that degrades due to ultra-violet radiation. This means that the wire that was once holding the solar panels in place will degrade due to the radiation fields in space. When this wire fully degrades, the solar panels will be deployed as planned! Here is a video depicting the comprising parts of the burn wire mechanism.