NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 Z8.03-9220
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Small Spacecraft Power and Thermal Control
PROPOSAL TITLE: Flexible High-Efficiency Solar Panels for SmallSats and CubeSats

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
rchan@mldevices.com
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
npan@mldevices.com
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Small Spacecraft Power and Thermal Control is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
MicroLink proposes to develop and test, a new type of photovoltaic module that will be suitable for use in SmallSat and CubeSat platforms requiring maximum power in a highly stowable format. MicroLink proposes to assemble and test a completed series array of five 20 cm2 cells that will output in excess of 3.5 W while demonstrating a pathway for producing significantly larger arrays capable of outputting powers in excess of 100 W. The typical areal weight of conventional Ge-based space cells with a 5 mil thick rigid coverglass exceeds 1,000 g/m2. MicroLink's proposed flexible photovoltaic module with ultra-thin ELO solar cells and flexible coverglass material will not only be flexible and comparable in efficiency to Ge-based cells but also have an areal mass of less than 400 g/m2. This represents greater than a 60% reduction in weight which is of particular importance for SmallSat and CubeSat applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The prototype high-efficiency, flexible, and highly stowable solar panel to be developed in this Phase I program are ideally suited for building low-cost, high efficiency and lightweight power sources for potential NASA programs including solar electric propulsion and small satellites.
There is a strong need for higher efficiency, higher specific power, and lower cost solar cells. The technology developed under this program would lead to more efficient and more power dense, which would enable applications that are not possible today. The ELO process provides a unique technology platform that cannot be matched by any other technology at the present time. With an appropriate amount of funding, this technology will be commercialized for a wide variety of applications. MicroLink has developed a strong relationship with prime contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Loral, and Boeing. MicroLink plans to increase its manufacturing infrastructure to support larger solar cell programs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
MicroLink has engaged in discussions with several manufacturers of satellites, including Airbus Defence and Boeing, which have 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. Our unique combination of efficiency and specific power provide a powerful combination that has direct applications in UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) and high altitude long endurance (HALE) UAV markets. HALE UAVs are increasingly becoming an indispensible capability of the U.S. military for persistent reconnaissance and communication. New UAV platforms such as the Airbus Zephyr aircraft are capable of staying aloft for several months at a time and can further enhance data gathering while significantly reducing acquisition and operational costs over existing platforms. MicroLink's high-efficiency, lightweight, and high specific power solar cells are a critical and enabling technology that will increase the flight endurance of HALE platforms and extend the amount of uninterrupted time the vehicle can loiter above a target.

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.)
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Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59