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SBIR/STTR

Automated High-Volume Manufacturing of Modular Photovoltaic Panel Assemblies for Space Solar Arrays, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Deployable Space Systems, Inc. (DSS) will focus the proposed SBIR program on the creation and development of an automated robotic manufacturing infrastructure designed to mass-produce DSS's Integrated Modular Blanket Assembly (IMBA) common photovoltaic Standard Power Modules (SPM's). The proposed development will implement automated manufacturing processes for CIC-ing, glassing, stringing, laydown, and acceptance testing of interconnected photovoltaic devices onto an ultra-lightweight IMBA/SPM modular flexible blanket assembly through simple and commercially available pick-and-place robotic manufacturing techniques / infrastructure. Automated manufacturing of IMBA/SPM photovoltaic panel assemblies will provide an industry paradigm shift for affordability / cost-savings when compared to current labor intensive manufacturing processes. Unlike the current industry approach which is only focused on increasing the device area that only minimally reduces panel assembly costs, the proposed automated manufacturing will attack the highest cost and most labor intensive components of manufacturing a panel assembly, namely; CICing, glassing, stringing, panel laydown, and acceptance testing. By incorporating automated manufacturing the proposed IMBA/SPM photovoltaic flexible blanket assembly promises to provide ultra-affordable high-performance and repeatable high-quality modules for future NASA Space Science and Exploration missions, and particularly for ultra-high-power SEP missions. More »

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