Ascent Solar Technologies, a manufacturer and developer of state-of-the-art, flexible thin-film PV modules, was selected by Vanguard Space Technologies (Vanguard) to provide modules for two additional Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program that require lightweight, flexible, and durable PV solutions.
Vanguard will utilize proprietary space environment protection technology along with automated manufacturing approaches, combined with Ascent’s flexible PV, to create a very thin, high power-to-weight ratio, large space solar arrays for space, as well as for novel integration into the wings of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Ascent will leverage their experience with space-based and demonstrated UAV solar products to provide optimized variants of their production PV.
“Our existing flexible, monolithically integrated CIGS product represents an excellent starting point for a wide range of applications, including Vanguard’s space and UAV-based products,” stated Dr. Joseph Armstrong, Chief Technology Officer of Ascent Solar. “Our production CIGS represent an excellent option to futuristic solar cells where availability is as critical to mission success as our flexibility, light weight, and durability have been. Our growing relationship with Vanguard represents an exciting partnership for developing new products in these challenging markets.”
“Vanguard is pleased to have these opportunities to incorporate Ascent’s CIGS cells into our solar array modules”, said Mr. Matt Wrosch, Manager of Solar Power Systems at Vanguard. “The advent of our extreme environment thin film coatings, automated manufacturing friendly array design, and Ascent’s proven cell technology provides an excellent fit for our ongoing investigations into next generation durable, affordable, large-area space solar arrays and also extended range UAV solar wing-skins.”
(Photo: Vanguard's flexible solar panels. Photo Credit: Vanguard)