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Emcore solar cells to power CRS space missions

The firm's III-V compound semiconductor multi-junction cells will be used to power the Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).

 Emcore Corporation has been awarded a solar panel manufacturing contract to utilise its 3rd Generation Triple-Junction (ZTJ) InGaP / InGaAs / Ge Solar Cells solar cells in the new lightweight and highly-efficient ATK Ultraflex solar arrays.

The solar panels will be used to power cargo delivery spacecraft for Orbital Sciences Corporation's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) missions to the ISS.

Under contract with NASA, Orbital will provide cargo logistics support services to the ISS, beginning in 2012. Emcore's solar panels will be assembled into deployable solar arrays by ATK's Solar Arrays and Deployables business based in Goleta, California. The arrays will then be delivered to Orbital Sciences Corporation for integration into their Cygnus space vehicles.

"Coupling Emcore's heritage of providing highly-efficient and reliable photovoltaics with ATK's lightweight Ultraflex solar array design will result in a winning solution to produce the most advanced and reliable power to ensure Orbital's Cygnus spacecraft is the long-term solution for the automated transport of goods to the International Space Station for many years to come," said Dave Messner, General Manager of ATK's Solar Arrays and Deployables business.

"Emcore values our long-standing business relationship with ATK and we are extremely honoured to receive this award," said Christopher Larocca, Chief Operating Officer for Emcore. "Our proven manufacturing capability, technology leadership and high-reliability solar panels make Emcore the supplier of choice for demanding spacecraft power systems. We look forward to working with ATK to support Orbital and NASA for these important missions."

Emcore is the world's leading manufacturer of highly-efficient radiation-hard solar cells for space power applications. With a beginning-of-life conversion efficiency nearing 30% and the option for a patented, onboard monolithic bypass diode, Emcore's industry leading multi-junction solar cells provide the highest available power to interplanetary spacecraft and earth orbiting satellites.
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