Solar Powered Long Endurance Small UAS

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX16CL73P
Agency Tracking Number: 156848
Amount: $124,979.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S3.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-06-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-12-09
Small Business Information
6457 Howard Street, Niles, IL, 60714-3301
DUNS: 000000000
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ray Chan
 Director, Solar Sheet Products
 (847) 588-3001
 rchan@mldevices.com
Business Contact
 Noren Pan
Title: Business Official
Phone: (847) 588-3001
Email: npan@mldevices.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
MicroLink Devices proposes to integrate its high-efficiency, lightweight, and flexible solar sheet technology to a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that will demonstrate a pathway to long endurance flights for several weeks. This will be a breakthrough technology that will enhance the performance and utility of NASA's Airborne Science fleet UAS. In previous work, MicroLink has demonstrated that its unique solar sheet technology enables significant extension of flight for small battery-operated UAS platforms. Further refinement of this solar technology and working in close collaboration with the small UAS manufacturer to optimize the UAS platform for long endurance flight will allow flight times even greater than first demonstrated in prototype experiments. This project will leverage MicroLink?s recent advances in inverted metamorphic (IMM) multi-junction (ELO) solar cell technology. The unique nature of the ELO solar cells has given rise to new opportunities for solar cell packaging: the inherent physical flexibility of these high efficiency solar cells can be exploited in the manufacture of a new generation of photovoltaic (PV) blankets that are lightweight, flexible, and modular. Recent work has developed a solar cell device and solar sheet encapsulation process that is almost 50% the weight of earlier solar cells and sheets first used on the small UAS demonstrations while still maintaining the high-efficiency of earlier devices. The result resulting modular high-efficiency solar sheets are an ideal candidate and solution for maximum power generation in a limited area and within weight constraints such as air vehicle applications.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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