Ascent Solar selected for Vanguard’s NASA SBIR program

By Editor


Ascent Solar Technologies has signed a contract with Vanguard Space Technologies for their NASA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.

Ascent Solaris designed to develop an economical, lightweight alternative to existing and emerging high-cost solar arrays for high-power space applications.

Under this program Vanguard will utilize proprietary space environment protection technology along with automated manufacturing approaches to create an ultra-thin, high power-to-weight ratio, large space solar array, the company said.

Ascent Solar will provide its copper-indium-gallium-selenium (CIGS) technology. The company will also leverage their experience with space-based solar products to provide space-optimized variants of their production PV.

Joseph Armstrong, chief technology officer of Ascent Solar, said, “Existing and emerging space solar cell technologies, particularly when utilized in very large scale solar arrays, can present problems to the spacecraft designer, both in terms of cost and availability.”

With Ascent Solar’s CIGS monolithically-integrated modules, Vanguard can develop a module that is tuned for the space environment, Armstrong added.  It will also help them utilize the protective coating and design expertise to succeed in their goal of providing NASA an economical pathway for powering these future missions, he added.

Frank Belknap, CEO of Vanguard, added, “The advent of our extreme environment thin film coatings, automated manufacturing friendly array design, and Ascent’s proven cell technology provides an ideal solution for next generation durable, affordable, large-area space solar arrays.”

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