Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer and developer of state-of-the-art, flexible thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules, announced today that its flexible, lightweight PV modules were selected by Vanguard Space Technologies (Vanguard) for their NASA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.
The NASA program is intended to develop an economical, lightweight alternative to existing and emerging high-cost solar arrays for high-power space applications.
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. These arrays will be enabled by Ascent’s flexible copper-indium-gallium-selenium (CIGS) technology; Ascent will leverage their experience with space-based solar products to provide space-optimized variants of their production PV.
“We are proud to have been chosen by Vanguard Space Technologies for this project,” stated Dr. Joseph Armstrong, Chief Technology Officer of Ascent Solar. “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. 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 utilize its unique protective coating and design expertise to succeed in their goal of providing NASA an economical pathway for powering these future missions.”
“Vanguard is pleased to have the opportunity to incorporate Ascent’s CIGS cells into our solar array modules”, said Mr. Frank Belknap, CEO of Vanguard. “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.”
About Ascent Solar Technologies:
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. is a developer of thin-film photovoltaic modules using flexible substrate materials that can transform the way solar power generation integrates into everyday life. Ascent Solar modules, which were named one of TIME Magazine's 50 best inventions of 2011, can be directly incorporated into standard building materials, commercial transportation, automotive solutions, space applications, consumer electronics for portable power and durable off-grid solutions. More information can be found at ascentsolar.com.
About Vanguard Space Technologies:
Vanguard specializes in the engineering, tooling, manufacturing, assembly and testing of high-performance, lightweight and precision aerospace structures. The company’s main product lines include antenna reflectors, spacecraft structures, instrument structures and solar power systems for commercial, defense, military and research satellites. Founded in 1994, and having nearly 20 years of space heritage, Vanguard has extensive experience in composite and advanced, hybrid technologies for spaceborne applications. The company also has a growing business in space power and optical and thermal products including Modular Solar Panels, Flexible Solar Panels, Shielded, Electromagnetically Clean Solar Panels, Solar Concentrators, Deployable Solar Arrays and Deployable Radiator Arrays.