Ascent Solar Technologies, (“ASTI” or the “Company”), the leading U.S. innovator in the design and manufacture of featherweight, flexible, and durable CIGS thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solutions, announced today that the Company has achieved spaceflight heritage for its space PV array products manifested on the Momentus Vigoride-6 mission. The assembly flown was composed of ASTI’s Plug & Fly™ solar panels, consisting of thin-film modules that were integrated into Momentus’s Tape Spring Solar Array (TASSA), which recently completed initial in-space testing.
Beyond establishment of NASA Technology Readiness Level 9 (TRL9) for the Company’s products, this achievement also validates Ascent’s CIGS material, manufacturing, integration, and quality processes, representing a significant milestone for its space solutions. Ascent’s bare PV modules have operated as expected in the space environment since being deployed, while this on-orbit demonstration verifies and builds upon the positive results of the MISSE-X experiment with NASA on the ISS. This milestone further validates the robustness of the Company’s portfolio of CIGS intellectual properties for space applications.
The Company is continuing to focus its next generation of higher efficiency lightweight products optimized for the orbital environment. Ascent’s Titan Space HDK line of products are derived from the subscale PV modules flown on Vigoride-6 and will provide even more spacecraft mass, cost, and schedule savings to mission managers with multiple megawatts of capacity still available for deliveries in 2024.
“This demonstration validates Ascent as a leader in space sustainability, and is reflective of the tremendous market opportunity we continue to pursue,” says Paul Warley, CEO of Ascent Solar Technologies. “We’ve also now proven that our power generation solutions available today are aligned with the European Space Agency’s Zero Debris Charter. Ascent’s Space HDK line of products are engineered to be resilient enough that if impacted and penetrated by space debris, the array can continue to generate power while not creating additional debris. Ultimately, this drastically lowers mission risks for spacecraft specifying flexible thin-film power generation capabilities like Ascent’s, which are poised to be one of the technologies that will enable the preservation of the global commons of Earth’s orbits as they grow increasingly more crowded and trafficked.”