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Emcore's GaAs Cells Launched In Final Space Shuttle Mission

The large-area 33% efficient gallium arsenide based solar cells are used in the Atlantis shuttle, which has been released into low-earth orbit.

A pair of Emcore Inverted Metamorphic Module Quadruple-Junction (IMM4J) solar cells were carried on a platform from the Space Shuttle Atlantis' cargo bay on July 20, 2011 after Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station during its historic final mission.

Emcore says its IMM4J large-area solar cells, with solar-to-electric conversion efficiencies in excess of 33%, are amongst the highest efficiency solar cells ever launched into space. The IMM4J solar cell technology, which is currently under development, has also demonstrated a laboratory world record conversion efficiency of greater than 36%, measured under simulated space solar illumination conditions at Emcore.

"The on-orbit data from these cells provides an invaluable opportunity for Emcore to assess the performance of our latest solar cell technologies under space flight conditions," said Christopher Larocca, Chief Operating Officer of Emcore. "We are also very proud to make a contribution to the final mission of the Space Shuttle program."

Emcore is one of the world's largest manufacturers of highly efficient radiation-hard solar cells for space power applications. With a beginning-of-life conversion efficiency in the order of 30% and the option for a patented, onboard monolithic bypass diode, Emcore's multi-junction solar cells can provide extremely high powers to interplanetary spacecrafts and earth orbiting satellites.
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