EMCORE Corporation Awarded Solar Panel Manufacturing Contract From ATK Space Systems
Contract Awarded for NASA's Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) Project
EMCORE Corporation, a leading provider of compound semiconductor-based components, systems and subsystems for the fiber optic and solar power markets, announced today that the Company has been awarded a contract by ATK Space Systems of Goleta, California to manufacture, test, and deliver solar panels for ATK's UltraFlex solar arrays. These solar arrays will be used to power the Orion spacecraft being developed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company for NASA. The period of performance for this contract for the first two vehicles runs through 2013 and is valued in the range of $9-$11 million. The flight solar array system is expendable for each Orion mission and continuous production is expected to run through 2020 and beyond.
The Orion crew exploration vehicle (CEV) program will serve as NASA's next generation human space transportation system. This vehicle is intended to replace the current Space Shuttle and will provide human space flight systems capable of transferring astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), the Moon and other destinations within the solar system. NASA expects to order multiple Orion Constellation vehicles over the next decade.
EMCORE's latest generation ZTJ triple-junction solar cells will be designed into the solar panels delivered to ATK Space Systems. With a sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency of 30%, the ZTJ solar cell is the highest performance space qualified multi-junction solar cell available in the industry world today. Production of the solar panels will take place at EMCORE's state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"We are very excited to be using the EMCORE ZTJ triple junction solar cells in the ATK Ultraflex solar array design," said Dave Messner, Vice President and General Manager of ATK's Solar Array and Deployables site based in Goleta, California. "The ATK UltraFlex solar array design will be providing 14kW of power per shipset with superior performance characteristics and mission enabling features, including ultra-lightweight, high strength, high stiffness, and compact stowage volume. The EMCORE solution will enable ATK to provide the UltraFlex solar array configured for Orion so that it will provide over twenty times the strength and ten times the stiffness of our conventional rigid panel solar arrays, at less than one-third the weight."
Christopher Larocca, Chief Operating Officer of EMCORE, stated, "This CEV program represents a significant award for EMCORE. The solar panels for this program will provide the critical power needs required for the next phase of NASA's human exploration program. We have enjoyed a long-term relationship with ATK Space Systems and look forward to partnering with them on this exciting program."
EMCORE is the world's largest manufacturer of highly efficient radiation hard solar cells for space power applications. With a beginning-of-life (BOL) conversion efficiency of 30%, EMCORE's industry leading multi-junction solar cells can provide the highest power to interplanetary spacecraft and earth orbiting satellites.