600 Volt Stretched Lens Array for Solar Electric Propulsion

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$599,486.00
Award Year:
2007
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNC07CB48C
Award Id:
80767
Agency Tracking Number:
050170
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
1077 Chisolm Trail, Keller, TX, 76248
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
108935420
Principal Investigator:
MarkO'Neill
Principal Investigator
(817) 379-0100
mjoneill@entechsolar.com
Business Contact:
MarkO'Neill
Business Official
(817) 379-0100
Research Institute:
Auburn University

231 Leach Center
Auburn University, AL, 36849 5320
(334) 844-5894
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
ENTECH, Auburn, NASA, and others have recently developed a new space photovoltaic array called the Stretched Lens Array (SLA), offering unprecedented performance (>80 kW/cu.m. stowed power, >300 W/sq.m. areal power, and >300 W/kg specific power) and cost-effectiveness (>75% savings in $/W compared to planar 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, and that SLA is ideally matched to Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) applications, which can save NASA >$10 billion for lunar exploration cargo transportation. In Phase II, ENTECH and Auburn will perform critical ground tests, including an advanced solar concentrator (1 kW, 600 V, color-mixing lenses, multi-junction cells) direct-driving a Hall-effect electric thruster, and SLA/thruster plume interaction tests. After Phase II, SLA for SEP technology will be ready for flight testing in preparation for many NASA, DOD, and commercial missions.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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