Monolithically-Integrated Thin-Film Solar for Deep Space Exploration

February 21, 2018 by Paul Shepard

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. announced that the company has been selected by the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) for further testing to develop custom PV products designed specifically for DLR’s upcoming solar array deployment system.

DLR’s new GOSOLAR project is aimed at testing the deployment technology needed for a large-scale solar power generation system that will use a flexible photovoltaic membrane.   Ascent’s technology will allow DLR to address the very challenging current requirements that come with this innovative approach to solar-sail deployment in a gossamer formation.

The use of Ascent Solar’s patented monolithically integrated modules will allow DLR to implement their unique deployment design while maximizing the area generating electrical power.

“We are pleased that DLR has selected our material for testing of their applicability to large solar array deployment,” stated Dr. Joseph Armstrong, Chief Technology Officer and founding member of Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc.

“We have been gaining traction in the deep space community, in part because we have a unique, lightweight and flexible product, but also because our monolithic integration offers greater design latitude that traditional crystalline products do not.

“We have demonstrated the ability to adjust the physical dimensions of our modules to meet the need of customers, and with unique deployment schemes employed by DLR, correctly sizing our solution to accommodate proper stowage and deployment is critical,” concluded Dr. Armstrong.

“We are honored to be selected by DLR for deployment of their solar sails in a gossamer formation meant for the extremely punishing space environment,” said Victor Lee, President and CEO of Ascent Solar.

“Our design allows us to maximize the surface area of our award-winning solar technology while keeping the thin and lightweight profile of the deployed solar sails. We look forward to further development and testing with DLR in the coming years,” Lee stated.