mPower Technology has announced that the firm’s DragonSCALES solar cell prototype has completed integration and testing on a Sparkwing on-orbit solar array technology demonstrator in preparation for inclusion on Momentus’ Vigoride transfer vehicle launch that is scheduled to occur in the fourth quarter of 2020.
DragonSCALES was developed to provide a low-cost, voltage-adjustable, high packing factor and lightweight solar power module that streamlines panel assembly and is designed for the needs of commercial LEO (low earth orbit) satellite constellations.
The Sparkwing team has introduced a groundbreaking new approach towards low cost, fast-delivery solar arrays for smallsats by offering a catalogue approach for standardized solar array models, similar to the automotive industry. The team is interested in mPower’s solar cell technology because of its potential to offer a unique combination of cost and performance benefits for next-gen solar arrays.
DragonSCALES enable disruptive, new approaches to solar applications by leveraging small, advanced silicon cells integrated on a flexible substrate in a patented, highly interconnected architecture. They provide unprecedented improvements in system cost, weight, flexibility, resilience, and ease of installation and system integration.
For emerging satellite missions, primes are continuously searching for alternative photovoltaic assembly (PVA) solutions that bring more power at lower price points and shorter delivery schedules. Silicon-based DragonSCALES solutions provide a viable, tested alternative for space power applications with advanced architecture, unparalleled performance, streamlined production and lower cost per watt.
“mPower is disrupting the space power market with its alternative approach to solar power,” said Kevin Hell, President and CEO of mPower Technology. “The Sparkwing team needs a resilient, flexible, cost-effective solar solution for their innovative smallsat solar array product, and DragonSCALES is the perfect fit given its ease of integration and unique ability to meet customized mission requirements.”
“We are very interested in the launch of this demonstrator together with mPower and Momentus, and looking forward to the in-orbit results. At Sparkwing, we are always looking for cutting-edge technologies that will change the approach to space power in subsequent missions. We’re closely following the mPower development.,” said Marloes van Put, who is leading the Sparkwing initiative.