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Solar-Powered, Micron-Gap Thermophotovoltaics for MEO Applications

Award Information

Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
105045
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
S3.03
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
MicroLink Devices
6457 Howard Street Niles, IL -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Solar-Powered, Micron-Gap Thermophotovoltaics for MEO Applications
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX11CE13P
Award Amount: $99,997.00
 

Abstract:

The proposed innovation is an InGaAs-based, radiation-tolerant, micron-gap thermophotovoltaic (MTPV) technology. The use of a micron wide gap between the radiation source and the photovoltaic substantially increases the efficiency of the thermophotovoltaic. This work will be accomplished by combining MicroLink's state-of-the-art InGaAs-based epitaxial lift-off solar cell structure on an InP substrate, and MTPV, LLC's leading-edge, micron-gap thermophotovoltaic device technology. The relevance of this innovation is that it addresses NASA's ongoing need for high-efficiency, lightweight, compact sources power for space vehicles. TPV is an attractive and technically feasible candidate for space power supplies, but its relatively poor efficiency performance has meant that it has not seen widespread use in space applications. However, MTPV technology, by bringing the emitter into the near field of the photovoltaic, couples an order of magnitude more power across the nano-scale vacuum gap than can be absorbed from the far-field spectrum and does so while maintaining the benefits of conventional TPV. MicroLink's ELO growth technology promises to further increase coupled power relative to the current germanium TPV cells while simultaneously reducing substrate costs. Thus, MicroLink ELO and MTPV technology can offer both high efficiency and reasonable cost TPV systems for the first time.

Principal Investigator:

Mark Osowski
Principal Investigator
8475883001
mosowski@mldevices.com

Business Contact:

Noren Pan
Business Official
8475883001
npan@mldevices.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

MicroLink Devices
6457 Howard Street Niles, IL 60714-3301

EIN/Tax ID: 043511752
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No