Flexible Covershield for Thin Film Solar Arrays (PDRT09-031)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-10-M-0177
Agency Tracking Number: F093-092-0998
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: AF093-092
Solicitation Number: 2009.3
Small Business Information
9431 Dowdy Drive, San Diego, CA, 92126
DUNS: 838266369
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Austin Reid
 Principle Investigator
 (858) 444-1864
Business Contact
 Steve Sherman
Title: Vice President, Bus. Administration
Phone: (858) 444-1826
Email: ssherman@drtechnologies.com
Research Institution
DR Technologies, Inc. will begin development of a flexible covershield material capable of protecting thin film solar cells from space environments including ionizing radiation, atomic oxygen, humidity, and high voltage discharge. The covershield will be designed to maximize EOL power output after 5 years in LEO and 15 years in GEO. Phase I work will focus on two specific technology advancements that will enable a reduction in quantity and thickness of covershield layers, increasing BOL and EOL transmittance. The two technologies are transparent conductive bulk silicone and radiation hardened silicone. The conductive silicone will be developed using existing, proven materials while optimizing for spectral transmittance. The silicone will be radiation hardened using two approaches, each of which has been demonstrated previously, but can be optimized for a flexible covershield. All of the new technologies will be exposed to ionizing radiation to characterize their performance in a relevant environment. Additionally, a summarizing matrix will be created that lists critical properties of each coverglass material, allowing quick assessment of the tradeoffs of each technology. This matrix will streamline the selection of future configurations and experiments and ultimately allow rapid, informed selection of coverglass material appropriate to specific mission requirements. BENEFIT: There is an urgent need for the supply of space solar arrays with improved cost, reliability, stowability, and high specific power. A successful Phase I will demonstrate the feasibility of improved covershield materials that will make such arrays possible, enabling a reduction in mass and an increase in power on orbit. As a solar array integrator and developer of flexible solar array blankets, DR Technologies is ideally positioned to quickly implement advances in coverglass technology into a space flight.

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

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