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T0177-B

Rapid Calibration of Space Solar Cells in Suborbital Environments

PI: Justin Lee, Don Walker (Co-I), The Aerospace Corporation

The goal of this project is to demonstrate through stratospheric balloon flights the applicability of a lightweight, low cost, compact and scalable solar cell measurement module for performing eventual high-altitude balloon solar cell calibration. The flight demonstrations are relevant to the development of high-efficiency, radiation hard solar cells in that they will pave the way towards obtaining the data needed for rapid and accurate benchmarking of the latest high-efficiency technologies. The module and data will have cross-cutting interest throughout the US space industry, since satellite designers need accurate data to accurately size solar arrays for their applications and mission profiles.

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA03 Space Power & energy Storage
Problem Statement

Obtaining performance data on high-efficiency space solar cells in a lab environment is fundamental to development and improvement of these technologies for future Earth and planetary missions.

Technology Maturation

The main goals of the 1-year project are to: 1. Demonstrate the compact payload can obtain precision measurements of the performance output of high-efficiency solar cell test samples with their temperatures in the stratosphere from suborbital balloon platforms. The module has completed lab tests and is currently at TRL 4. 2. Retrieve the payload following flights and perform comparisons to baseline lab measurements.

Future Customers

The module and data will have cross-cutting interest throughout the US space industry, since satellite designers need accurate data to accurately size solar arrays for their applications and mission profiles. Maturation of the module will also be of interest to high altitude flight providers, academic institutions, and other national labs engaged in photovoltaic research and development, so that they can reliably obtain test data.

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    REDDI-F1-16B (Jan 2017)
  • Program Status
    Active
  • Current TRL (?)
    Unknown
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 Balloon

Development Team

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