Radiation Resistant Optical Bonding Technology for Solar Cell Coverglass
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
This proposal addresses the space optic community's need for an optical bonding material that demonstrates superior stability in the harsh space environment. Adhesives used in space must exhibit near-zero degassing, tolerate drastic temperature changes and be hardened to ionizing sources of radiation. The tolerance for these properties are restricted even further when applied to adhesives in the optical path, as is the case for solar cell coverglass adhesives. As the power systems have become more advanced, the limits of Dow Corning's DC93-500 have been exceeded. Infoscitex proposes to further develop a space grade optical bonding technique comprised primarily of a radiation-hardened silicate-like network combined with elastomeric linkages. During Phase I, Infoscitex demonstrated that the proposed silicate-elastomer hybrid bond (SEHB) exhibited the following advantages over DC93-500: Enhanced resistance to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, optical transmittance and clarity and thermal stability. Infoscitex is uniquely positioned to insert candidate bonded samples into ongoing radiation resistant coverglass development testing. Phase II prototype coverglass interconnected cells (CICs) fabricated with the SEHB technology will be delivered to AFRL or platform manufacturers for prequalification. Infoscitex has teamed with an optical products supplier and a solar array manufacturer to commercialize the SEHB technology after the SBIR Phase II. BENEFIT: The proposed optical bond technology demonstrated superior UV resistance and transmittance compared to organic polymer adhesives and DC93-500. Initially, Product development and commercialization will be focused on DoD satellite criteria for solar cell coverglass bonding then will expand into non-DoD markets such as communications satellites and other space based optical path bonding applications.
Small Business Information at Submission:
303 Bear Hill Road Waltham, MA 02451
Number of Employees: