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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Mass-Optimized Ultra Flex Solar Array with Integrated IMM Cell Flexible Blanket, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Mass-Optimized Ultra Flex Solar Array with Integrated IMM Cell Flexible Blanket, Phase II
Deployable Space Systems (DSS), in partnership with ATK Space and EMCORE, is focusing on the design development and optimization of the most promising advanced space photovoltaic subsystem now available: EMCORE's ultra-thin 33% BOL-efficient Inverted Metamorphic Multijunction (IMM) solar cell that is interconnected into module form and integrated onto an advanced flexible blanket (gore); specifically for implementation on the lightest solar array structural system currently in use, ATK's UltraFlex. The innovative and synergistic solutions conceptually developed during the Phase 1 effort produced a near-term, low-risk solar array system that provides breakthrough performance in terms of highest specific power (>380 W/kg BOL), light weight, scalability to large (>15 kW) wing sizes, high deployed stiffness, high deployed strength, compact stowage volume (>40 kW/m3 BOL), high voltage operation capability, reliability, affordability, and rapid commercial readiness. The Phase 2 study will successfully further increase the design fidelity (TRL) of the most promising IMM-integrated onto UltraFlex-specific triangular gore blanket solutions configured to meet key high-voltage SEP / deep space science mission requirements. The development, as performed on the cost-effective Phase 2 SBIR plan structured in detail, will allow for an expedient and low-risk commercial infusion of the ultra-lightweight integrated IMM PV UltraFlex solar array technology via continued hardware-based and test-validated development, and enables future missions, including near-to-medium term NASA Outer Planets and Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) science missions. More »

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