The development of high efficiency solar arrays would increase the endurance of small UAV's which would enable increased monitoring time and improved reliability since it would minimize the time for take off and landing. Lightweight solar arrays developed under ELO technology would also benefit solar electric propulsion since this would reduce the weight and cost of large arrays.
Customers in the aerospace industry share NASA's desire for cost-effective spacecraft systems and components. MicroLink is a manufacturing organization with the goal of commercializing the technologies it develops through R/R&D programs. To that end, MicroLink has engaged in discussions with several manufacturers of commercial satellites which has taken particular interest in MicroLink's ELO technology for the potential in reducing the cost of space solar cells while improving the efficiency compared to commercially available Ge-based solar cells. The low mass and high specific power of such photovoltaic modules with a durable polymer film replacing the traditional rigid coverglass also make them excellent for powering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Finally, attractive military and civilian applications involving mobile solar electric power are derived from the ability to recharge batteries in remote locations.