NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 S3.04-7152
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Solar Powered Long Endurance Small UAS

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MicroLink Devices, Inc.
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ray Chan
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001 Extension :12

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Noren Pan
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
MicroLink Devices proposes to integrate its high-efficiency, lightweight, and flexible solar sheet technology to a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that will demonstrate a pathway to long endurance flights for several weeks. This will be a breakthrough technology that will enhance the performance and utility of NASA's Airborne Science fleet UAS. In previous work, MicroLink has demonstrated that its unique solar sheet technology enables significant extension of flight for small battery-operated UAS platforms. Further refinement of this solar technology and working in close collaboration with the small UAS manufacturer to optimize the UAS platform for long endurance flight will allow flight times even greater than first demonstrated in prototype experiments.
This project will leverage MicroLink�s recent advances in inverted metamorphic (IMM) multi-junction (ELO) solar cell technology. The unique nature of the ELO solar cells has given rise to new opportunities for solar cell packaging: the inherent physical flexibility of these high efficiency solar cells can be exploited in the manufacture of a new generation of photovoltaic (PV) blankets that are lightweight, flexible, and modular. Recent work has developed a solar cell device and solar sheet encapsulation process that is almost 50% the weight of earlier solar cells and sheets first used on the small UAS demonstrations while still maintaining the high-efficiency of earlier devices. The result resulting modular high-efficiency solar sheets are an ideal candidate and solution for maximum power generation in a limited area and within weight constraints such as air vehicle applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The development of high efficiency solar arrays would increase the endurance of small UAV's which would enable increased monitoring time and improved reliability since it would minimize the time for take off and landing. Lightweight solar arrays developed under ELO technology would also benefit solar electric propulsion since this would reduce the weight and cost of large arrays.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Customers in the aerospace industry share NASA�s desire for cost-effective spacecraft systems and components. MicroLink is a manufacturing organization with the goal of commercializing the technologies it develops through R/R&D programs. To that end, MicroLink has engaged in discussions with several manufacturers of commercial satellites which has taken particular interest in MicroLink�s ELO technology for the potential in reducing the cost of space solar cells while improving the efficiency compared to commercially available Ge-based solar cells. The low mass and high specific power of such photovoltaic modules with a durable polymer film replacing the traditional rigid coverglass also make them excellent for powering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Finally, attractive military and civilian applications involving mobile solar electric power are derived from the ability to recharge batteries in remote locations.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14