ALD-Enhanced Durability of Lightweight Co-Cured Solar Array Panels (P-DoD13-002)
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
ABSTRACT: The promise of ubiquitous solar power for novel devices and applications depends greatly on the form-factors available, their specific power and their cost. Traditional silicon solar panels are prohibitively large for widespread utilization, and even smaller scale inorganic cells are too rigid and too heavy to be integrated into all next generation aero-structures, particularly medium-endurance and long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The promise of organic photovoltaics and organic electronics are the low mass and inherent flexibility enabled by such devices, and the potential for sizable cost reductions due to scalability. However, organic electronics suffer from rapid degradation when exposed to the elements, particularly oxygen and water vapor. In this program Vanguard will demonstrate the applicability of atomic layer deposition ultra-barrier coatings for encapsulating organic photovoltaic arrays. The approach will render suitable device lifetimes and will enable integration into UAV wing-skins using low-temperature co-curing techniques. BENEFIT: The benefits of the proposed flexible encapsulation scheme are the enabling of co-cured organic solar arrays around curved shapes, particularly those found on UAV wing-skins and bodies. However, the encapsulation system will also be of relevance to a wide variety of flexible organic electronics, including flat-panel displays. UAV systems including Vulture and Raven, as well as those currently under development, will be the intended transition targets for the proposed technology.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Vanguard Space Technologies, Inc.
9431 Dowdy Drive San Diego, CA 92126-
Number of Employees: