Contract: $5,654,192 - Department of the Air Force - Jun. 17, 2009
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Award Description: Solar power has become the most viable way for powering satellites and other space vehicles. The expense of putting objects into space is highly dependent on weight; the lighter the payload the less expense for the mission. Emcore was awarded a contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to develop high efficiency, lightweight multi-junction crystalline solar cells. The award focuses on Emcore?s inverted metamorphic multi-junction (IMM) solar cell technology. This technology is capable of producing solar cells that convert over 33% of the sun?s energy that reaches the earth?s orbit into electrical energy. The IMM solar cell is able to produce the greatest electrical power per weight of any solar cell. Emcore?s deliverables for this contract is to produce large area 35% solar cells for use in space solar panels and small area 37% to enable the development of higher efficiency solar cells in the future. This enabling technology will help in the development of space power for the next century of space exploration.
Project Description: To better enable adoption of this technology in the near term, Emcore is working towards the simplest integration method of the IMM technology by creating a rigid IMM cell as a drop-in replacement for the current space solar cell technology. Recent tests on bonding to rigid carriers have been promising, creating ideas towards a successful solution. Initial tests have proven successful in integrating the lightweight IMM solar cells to thin flexible substrates as a first step to the fabrication of lightweight flexible solar panels. This would greatly reduce the weight of solar panels needed to power satellites thus lowering the cost of missions. This quarter several IMM process steps have been transferred from low volume research and development equipment to high volume production equipment. This will not only increase the manufacturing throughput but result in an increase in yield by running on statistically controlled production equipment. Several subcontracts have been awarded to jointly develop a substrate removal and reuse process to increase the use of a single gallium arsenide substrate to decrease the cost of the IMM solar cell. Subcontracts have been awarded to several leading university research groups to develop high performance novel semiconductor materials for high efficiency multi-junction solar cells and for the creation of anti-reflection coatings that will allow the absorption of more solar radiation for the multi-junction solar cell. This synergistic relationship between academia, industry and America?s armed forces will enable the realization of the next generation of lightweight, high power solar panels that will power space exploration for the next century.
Jobs Summary: High-tech engineering, scientist and technician jobs. (Total jobs reported: 3)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jun. 17, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.
Funds from this award have been disbursed to subcontractors. Click here to see a list of subcontractors.
|Nanostructures, Inc.||$3,120||SANTA CLARA||CA|
|Nanostructures, Inc.||$3,060||SANTA CLARA||CA|
|Microlink Devices, Inc.||$220,320||NILES||IL|
|OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH FOUNDATION||$255,601||COLUMBUS||OH|