USAF Selects Uni-Solar Ovonic to Supply Solar Cells

May 05, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

United Solar Ovonic Corp. (Uni-Solar Ovonic, Auburn Hills, MI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ECD, Rochester Hills, MI), announced that it has been selected by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL, Kirtland AFB, NM) to provide 3 kW of UNI-SOLAR® lightweight solar cells deposited on thin stainless steel to supply power to an experimental satellite. Uni-Solar Ovonic also has an option to provide an additional 300 W of UNI-SOLAR ultra-lightweight cells deposited on polymer.

The Deployable Structures Experiment (DSX) is an AFRL flight experiment initiated in 2004 and baselined to be launch-ready in late 2008. The DSX flight experiment is designed to achieve major technological advances in satellite power, aperture and operability in the medium earth orbit. Research in these areas is expected to have a major impact on potential Department of Defense space assets such as space-based radar, communications, orbit transfer and space capability protection. The UNI-SOLAR 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 kW to 100 kW regime envisioned for future operational missions.