Innovative Integration of Flexible CIGS Photovoltaics for High Altitude Airships
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
A new generation of Lighter than Air (LTA) vehicles is being developed to provide continuous, geostationary presence to negate interference from weather and other atmospheric interaction. Military applications for these vehicles include surveillance, communications, threat detection, and even as stationary platforms for missile and kinetic energy weapons. ITN Energy Systems, Inc. (ITN) has been working with leading airship manufacturers towards the development of a high-altitude, heavy lifting geostationary airship powered by lightweight, flexible copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) thin film photovoltaics. While the initial vehicle will likely involve the attachment of self-contained flexible PV arrays to the hull, the proposed effort investigates direct integration of our flexible CIGS photovoltaics both onto and into the proposed hull fabric. Phase 1 demonstrated that the materials and processes are compatible for this multifunctional material. Phase 2 will build upon this success and establish a viable means for electrical and mechanical integration to the vehicle. Commercial applications of this approach include utilization of the high-altitude airship concept for high-speed Internet, wireless communications, surveillance, and `satellite' television. Direct extrapolation of this effort can also lead to direct integration of PV into fabric for tents and support structures for both commercial and military use.
Small Business Information at Submission:
ITN ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.
8130 Shaffer Pkwy Littleton, CO 80127
Number of Employees: