Thin, flexible, high efficiency ELO solar cells are attractive for next-generation spacecraft power and SEP systems. Arrays based on the proposed solar cells will be suitable for NASA missions ranging from near-Earth to deep space. Lockheed Martin, Space Systems Loral, and Boeing have shown great interest in MicroLink?s work and in future applications of low mass, flexible photovoltaic module technologies that can support NASA?s SEP program as a replacement for the solar cells in existing spacecraft.
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 have taken particular interest in MicroLink's ELO technology for the potential of 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.