Emcore multi-junction panels power NASA's mission to Mars
The firm's III-V compound semiconductor solar cells have a beginning-of-life conversion efficiency nearing 30% and the option for a patented, onboard monolithic bypass diode
Emcore has announced that its solar panels were successfully launched on November 26, 2011 onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft.
The panels, delivered earlier this year under contract with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Centre in Pasadena, CA, will power the MS) spacecraft during its cruise stage to Mars. The spacecraft is designed to carry the MSL rover "Curiosity" and communicate with the entry vehicle that will carry the rover to the surface of the planet. The solar panels for this mission were designed and manufactured exclusively by Emcore's Photovoltaic Division, located in Albuquerque, NM.
"We are very proud to contribute to NASA's latest mission to Mars and are committed to supporting NASA with other future missions," said Christopher Larocca, Chief Operating Officer for Emcore.
"Emcore has previously delivered, or is in the process of delivering, solar panels for several other NASA missions including the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) to the International Space Station, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), and the Magnetospheric Multi-Scale (MMS) missions," he continued.
Emcore is a manufacturer of highly-efficient radiation-hard solar cells for space power applications. The firm's multi-junction solar cells provide power to interplanetary spacecraft and earth orbiting satellites.