600 Volt Stretched Lens Array for Solar Electric Propulsion

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,956.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNC06CB43C
Agency Tracking Number:
050170
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
ENTECH, Inc.
1077 Chisolm Trail, Keller, TX, 76248
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
108935420
Principal Investigator:
Mark O'Neill
Principal Investigator
(817) 379-0100
mjoneill@entechsolar.com
Business Contact:
Mark O'Neill
President
(817) 379-0100
mjoneill@entechsolar.com
Research Institution:
Auburn University
Michael Moriarty
231 Leach Center
Auburn University, AL, 36849
(334) 844-5894
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Over the past six years, ENTECH, Auburn, NASA, and other organizations have developed a new space photovoltaic array called the Stretched Lens Array (SLA), which offers unprecedented performance (e.g., >80 kW/cu.m. stowed power, >300 W/sq.m. areal power, and >300 W/kg specific power in the very near term) and cost-effectiveness (>75% savings in $/W compared to planar high-efficiency arrays). SLA achieves these outstanding attributes by employing flexible Fresnel lenses for optical concentration (e.g., 8X), thereby minimizing solar cell area, mass, and cost. SLA's small cell size (85% less cell area than planar high-efficiency arrays) also allows super-insulation and super-shielding of the solar cells to enable high-voltage operation and radiation hardness in the space environment. Recent studies show that SLA offers a 3-4X advantage over competing arrays in specific power for many NASA Exploration missions. ENTECH and Auburn, with Aerojet support, propose to develop and demonstrate a special version of SLA, specifically optimized for Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) missions. This SLA for SEP will operate at 600 V to direct-drive an Aerojet Hall-effect electric thruster. Such a combination of an ultra-light, high-voltage, radiation-hard SLA with a high-specific-impulse electric thruster will have widespread applicability to many NASA, DOD, and commercial missions.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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