USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

500 Watt Solar AMTEC Power System for Small Spacecraft

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1996 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
4370 Varsity Drive Ann Arbor, MI 48108
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1996
Title: 500 Watt Solar AMTEC Power System for Small Spacecraft
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $742,988.00


The small spacecraft power system proposed in this program provides significant advantages over state-of-the-art systems including: (1) use of a high efficiency (25%-35%) AMTEC, static power conversion system, (2) reduced planform area, and vulnerability, (3) mass efficient phase change material for thermal energy storage during solar eclipse periods, (4) high reliability with no vibration, (5) significant savings in power systems mass, and cost, (6) a conversion technology that is compatible with many sources (solar, radioisotope, combustion, reactor, etc.), and (7) a conversion technology whose efficiency is essentially independent of size/capacity for a given operating regime meaning smaller, less expensive modules can be developed and used in larger systems. The overall objective of Phase I is to develop a design for a working prototype of an innovative, low cost, reliable, low mass, long life 500 watt solar power system for small spacecraft. Phase I will also determine the magnitude of the improved performance AMTEC offers small spacecraft space power systems. The proposed work will define in detail a 500 We, solar AMTEC system capable of reducing the size and cost of space power systems with acceptable risk and provide the systems work required for space and terrestrial applications. Project tasks include: (1) spacecraft requirements, (2) performance evaluation, (3) system selection, (4) conceptual design of the 500 We solar power systems based upon the requirements. The prototype system will be fabricated and tested in the Phase II effort if the results of Phase I are promising.

Principal Investigator:

Robert Sievers

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Advanced Modular Power Systems
4667 Freedom Drive Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No