NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation
FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY
||Advanced Photovoltaic Systems
||Thin Flexible IMM Solar Array
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
DR Technologies, Inc.
9431 Dowdy Drive
San Diego, CA 92126 - 4336
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
9431 Dowdy Drive
San Diego, CA 92126 - 4336
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Inverted Metamorphic (IMM) solar cells have achieved high efficiency at very low mass, but integration of the thin crystalline photovoltaic device into a flexible panel has been a challenge. The objectives of this SBIR are to mechanically package the IMM cell into a flexible laminated panel, and to assemble modular building blocks of these panels into a deployable array structure. The thin module development includes optimizing multifunctional materials for the substrate and superstrate to provide appropriate structural support as well as properties for insulation, transparency, surface conductivity, emissivity and environmental durability. The laminated IMM panels build on electrical interconnection development from parallel programs to assemble body-mounted or deployable arrays using a modular concept. The emphasis on modularity and lamination objectives will provide enhanced consistency, qualification traceability, and manufacturing technology that is amenable to process control and lowered cost. In the Phase 1 effort selects the optimized material for each layer of the substrate and superstrate, validates the materials' predicted performance, laminates IMM coupons and submodules, and tests them in basic environments, such as thermal cycling and bend radius. Phase 1 also performs the conceptual design of the roll-out array using state-of-the-art deployable array structure such as those from the selected Phase 1 subcontractor, Deployable Space Systems of Goleta, CA. The Phase 2 effort will perform a full-scale array design, including deployable structure, and build a deployable engineering ground demonstration model, including flight qualifiable materials and some active IMM thin modules. Phase 2 also includes a set of ground verification testing on coupons, submodules and modules to show durability in other harsh space environments, such as VUV, protons, plasma, atomic oxygen, and life thermal cycling.
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Higher performance, lower cost laminated modular solar panels have application to a wide variety of missions because of reduced array mass, smaller deployed area and minimized stowage volume. In addition, nearly all missions could benefit by implementation of a solar array that has enhanced reliability because of consistency and qualification traceability, and easier spacecraft integration from plug-and-play, remove-and-replace modularity. Significant enhancements of specific power (Watts/kilogram) and stowed power density (kilowatts per cubic meter) can be enabling for some missions, because of the ability to launch and deploy much higher power levels with smaller launch vehicles. NASA missions enabled by this technology could include outer-planetary missions with solar electric propulsion, higher power missions needing electromagnetic cleanliness for sensitive instruments, and missions using telescopes or other requirements for high pointing stability with arrays deployed. Lightweight flexible and efficient solar panels can also have utility for planetary surface bases and rovers.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Higher performance, lower cost laminated modular solar panels have application to a wide variety of commercial and DoD missions because of reduced array mass, smaller deployed area and minimized stowage volume. Enhanced reliability is especially important because of the requirements for longer life earth orbiting spacecraft. Both military and commercial spacecraft have missions that need considerably reduced schedule in the commercial spacecraft market, shorter times to launch pad has been a business thrust for a long time; for some military missions, "operational responsiveness" is important. Commercial missions are also particularly sensitive to solar array costs, which can be more than 10% of total spacecraft costs, and often have spacecraft series that benefit from modular approaches for flexibility to meet different customer (spacecraft user) power needs.
TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12