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SBIR/STTR

Lunar In-Situ Fabrication: The Manufacturing of Thin Film Solar Cells on the Surface of the Moon, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Lunar In-Situ Fabrication: The Manufacturing of Thin Film Solar Cells on the Surface of the Moon, Phase I
The utilization of space resources can enable sustained affordable exploration of the Moon and beyond in the nation's Exploration Initiative. The availability of low-cost, abundant indigenous electric power is critical to the aggressive implementation of space resource utilization. This power-rich space environment can be achieved by the generation of electrical power from thin film photovoltaic solar cells produced on the surface of the Moon from lunar resources. This concept of operation offers a specific advantage in the capability of continuous power growth by addition of solar cells, manufactured in situ, to an expanding power grid. Such an effective power system on the Moon would lower operational risks of future robotic and manned missions through higher reliability. In addition, such architecture has the capability to deliver power at a decreasing cost per kWh beyond the first 100 kWh or so. We propose the development of the key thin film silicon solar cell technologies needed to demonstrate the fabrication of thin-film solar cells on the surface of the Moon, and to present a preliminary design of a roving vehicle to support these operations. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.

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