Laser Power Transmission Employing a Dual-Use Photovoltaic Concentrator at the Receiving End

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Amount:
$69,078.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
NNM04AA80C
Solitcitation Year:
2003
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Branch:
N/A
Award Year:
2004
Phase:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
033550
Solicitation Topic Code:
F3.05
Small Business Information
ENTECH, Inc.
1077 Chisolm Trail, Keller, TX, 76248-7000
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
108935420
Principal Investigator
 Mark O'Neill
 Principal Investigator
 (817) 379-0100
 mjoneill@entechsolar.com
Business Contact
 Mark O'Neill
Title: President
Phone: (817) 379-0100
Email: mjoneill@entechsolar.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The proposed innovation is a wireless laser power transmission system employing a dual-use photovoltaic concentrator at the receiving end. Specifically, the laser receiver/converter employs thin Fresnel lenses to focus continuous or pulsed laser light onto small photovoltaic cells, thereby reducing cell cost and improving cell conversion efficiency (> 70% near term). The dual-use approach employs a novel four-terminal multijunction cell interconnection design to allow the same photovoltaic concentrator to be used as a state-of-the-art solar array. Specifically, the photovoltaic concentrator uses multijunction cells for the high-efficiency solar radiation conversion (> 30% near-term), but only the top junction of such cells for the high-efficiency laser radiation conversion. After system optimization in Phase I and system demonstration in Phase II, the new modular laser/solar photovoltaic concentrator will have many NASA, military, and commercial space applications. Applications include spacecraft arrays receiving laser input from other spacecraft or from Earth; lunar or planetary arrays receiving laser input from nearby spacecraft or from Earth; and Earth-based arrays receiving laser input from space solar power (SSP) spacecraft. The dual-use capability enables state-of-the-art solar power operation when sunlight is available (e.g., illuminated orbit portion), and laser operation when sunlight is not available (e.g., eclipse orbit portion).

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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