Flexible CIGS thin-film producer, Ascent Solar is collaborating with NASA through its Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) initiative to develop low-cost lightweight large area solar arrays for a range of space applications in the future.
Ascent will be working with Vanguard Space Technologies, which has proprietary space environment protection technology as well automated manufacturing approaches to produce the large-area arrays.
Dr. Joseph Armstrong, chief technology officer of Ascent Solar said: “Existing and emerging space solar cell technologies, particularly when utilised in very large-scale solar arrays, can present problems to the spacecraft designer, both in terms of cost and availability. By starting with our production CIGS monolithically-integrated modules, we can provide Vanguard with a module that is tuned for the space environment, and in a similar way to our products enabling novel commercial goods, our space CIGS modules will enable Vanguard to utilise its unique protective coating and design expertise to succeed in their goal of providing NASA an economical pathway for powering these future missions.”
Commercial details and timelines were not disclosed.