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Emcore panels to take off in Orbital/NASA mission

The firm's III-V based solar panels will power one of NASA's latest missions, ICESat-2. The goal of this project is to measure the topography of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice
Emcore Corporation has been awarded a solar panel manufacturing contract by Orbital Sciences Corporation for NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission.

Targeted for launch in early 2016, the solar panels will be populated with Emcore's most advanced III-V based compound semiconductor ZTJ triple-junction solar cells, which will power the ICESat-2 spacecraft manufactured by Orbital.

ICESat-2 builds on measurements taken by NASA's original ICESat mission. ICESat was the benchmark Earth Observing System mission for measuring ice sheet mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics. 

Data from ICESat, which was in orbit from 2003 to 2010, revealed thinning of the world's ice sheets.  ICESat-2 will use precision laser-ranging techniques to measure the topography of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice.

"This award for ICESat-2 continues the strong partnership between Orbital Sciences Corporation and Emcore," says Brad Clevenger, General Manager of Emcore's Photovoltaics Group. "Our proven manufacturing capability, technology leadership and solar panel reliability make Emcore the supplier of choice for demanding spacecraft power systems."

Emcore is a manufacturer of radiation-hard solar cells for space power applications. With a Beginning-Of-Life conversion efficiency nearing 30 percent and the option for a patented, onboard monolithic bypass diode, Emcore's multi-junction solar cells provide high power to interplanetary spacecraft and earth orbiting satellites.

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