Alta Devices Solar Cells Will Power Innovative ThinSat Program
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Airships?src=hash” target=”_blank”gt;#Airshipslt;/agt;–This week, the NG-11 mission will launch from the NASA Wallops Flight
Facility carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft. This spacecraft will
deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) and transport 60
small satellites, called ThinSats, into space. These satellites are
powered by Alta
Devices gallium arsenide solar cells and will carry various
electromagnetic, radiation and inertial sensors for scientific analysis
of the atmosphere.
These ThinSats are part of a program whose goal is to set a new standard
for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics)
education in the US. Dozens of teams of high school and college students
were engaged in the preparation of the satellite hardware and analysis.
The satellites will be deployed into low earth orbit and allow live data
In the future, these ThinSats can be deployed into constellations and
expanded to larger sizes for hosting larger payloads.
The ThinSat Program is managed and funded by Virginia Commercial Space
Flight Authority (Virginia Space) with Twiggs Space Lab (TSL) operating
as the general contractor, NearSpace Launch (NSL) the primary spacecraft
designer and manufacturer, and Alta Devices the provider of solar cells.
Hank Voss co-founder of NSL states, “Satellites need solar cells to
generate electrical power. Until now, no commercial solar technologies
could match the improvement in cost, weight, and ease of use that other
components of small satellite technology have achieved.” Specifically,
he explained that the majority of solar cells were expensive, fragile,
rigid, and difficult to encapsulate and robustly attach to spacecraft.
Alta Devices solar cells overcome these challenges because they are
flexible, easy to encapsulate and mount, and provide high power
conversion efficiencies. For example, Alta Devices cells can be mounted
to low-mass deployable structures including coiled carbon fiber booms,
flat-packed, polymer-based accordioned arrays, even inflatable
structures, allowing creative design approaches to maximizing onboard
solar power. Alta Devices is empowering autonomy, as its cells provide a
new level of mechanical and design flexibility for the small satellite
About Virginia Space
Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA), also known as ‘Virginia
Space,’ is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Virginia Space owns and operates the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
(MARS) and the MARS UMS Airfield. Virginia Space aims to provide and is
proud to offer full-service launch and drone testing facilities for
commercial, government, scientific and academic users. The mission of
Virginia Space is to serve as a driver for Virginia’s New Economy by
providing safe, reliable, and responsive space access at competitive
prices, and secure facilities for testing of unmanned vehicles for
integration into the National Air Space. For more information, visit https://www.vaspace.org/.
About Twiggs Space Lab
Space Lab, LLC (TSL) is focused on creating STEAM based products and
curriculum to stimulate, engage, and encourage students to pursue
interests in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. The
company’s mission is to inspire future generations of engineers and
scientists to make the world a better place through innovative research
in space. Prof. Twiggs was a consulting professor at Stanford University
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics starting in 1994 where he
established the Space Systems Development Laboratory. While at Stanford
in 1999, he was the co-developer of the CubeSat concept. Prof. Twiggs
was also the creative mind responsible for developing the original
concepts for the CricketSat, CanSat, and the PocketQube for educational
applications for use in space. Prof. Twiggs has published numerous
papers and made dozens of presentations at technical conferences in the
US and internationally. For more information, visit http://www.twiggsspacelab.com.
About NearSpace Launch, Inc.
Launch, Inc. (NSL) based in Upland, IN. NSL has 100% mission success
with over 60 systems flown in the past four years. Hank Voss & Jeff
Dailey founded NSL following the successful mission of TSAT. The mission
proved the effectiveness of a Globalstar radio connection for orbital
radio communication. NSL manufactures and produces ThinSats, custom
CubeSat satellites, Globalstar enabled communication systems, and
high-altitude balloons for a variety of educational, commercial, and
government applications. NSL’s FastBus heritage is 7 out of 7 flying
their missions, and many more radios and components excelling at their
respective mission tasks. For more information, visit www.nearspacelaunch.com.
About Alta Devices
Devices is Empowering Autonomy™ by delivering the world’s most
efficient, thin and flexible mobile power technology. By converting
light of any kind into electricity, Alta Devices AnyLight™ power
technology extends the energy source of a system, and in many cases,
completely cuts the traditional power cord. The solution can be
completely integrated into the final system, and is ideal for use in
small satellites, unmanned systems, consumer electronics, sensors,
automotive, remote exploration, or anywhere size, weight, and mobility
matter. Alta Devices holds world records for energy conversion
efficiency and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. For more information,
Alta Devices is a Hanergy company.
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