Uni-Solar Lands U.S. Air Force Satellite Contract

United Solar Ovonic, better known as Uni-Solar, was selected by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, to provide 3 kW of lightweight solar cells deposited on thin stainless steel to supply power to an experimental satellite. Uni-Solar also has an option to provide an additional 300 W of ultra-lightweight cells deposited on polymer.

Auburn Hills, Michigan – May 6, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The Deployable Structures Experiment (DSX) is an AFRL flight experiment initiated in 2004 and baselined to be launch-ready in late 2008. According to Dr. Greg Spanjers, DSX Program Manager, the flight experiment is designed to achieve major technological advances in satellite power, aperture and operability in the medium earth orbit (MEO). “The selection of our products for satellite application by the Air Force opens up new opportunities for us in this premier market,” said Subhendu Guha, president and chief operating officer of Uni-Solar Ovonic. “We look forward to increasing sales of our unique products for providing power to satellites and airships.” Uni-Solar Ovonic has been working under contract from the AFRL Advanced Space Power Generation Program at Kirtland AFB for several years now to develop lightweight solar arrays for space and stratospheric applications. Research in these areas is expected to have a major impact on potential DoD space assets such as Space-Based Radar, communications, orbit transfer, and space capability protection. The Uni-Solar lightweight and flexible solar cells are a key technology on DSX. The cells will be stowed during launch and rolled out in space in a structural configuration scaleable to the 50-100 kW regime envisioned for future operational missions. “Our thin-film triple-junction products have received wide recognition for terrestrial applications,” said Stanford R. Ovshinsky, chairman and CEO of Uni-Solar Ovonic and president and chief technology officer of ECD Ovonics. “Their light weight and radiation hardness, as well as superior high-temperature performance, make them ideal for space applications as well. DSX is baselined to fly in a high-radiation MEO orbit, which will be an excellent testbed for the radiation tolerance and annealing expected with the Uni-Solar Ovonic thin-film solar cells.”
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