Innovative small satellite designs need solar power to match. Lightweight, thin, flexible and tough gallium-arsenide solar cells from Alta Devices enable designs that are not possible with other solar technologies. Whether it’s coiled carbon fiber booms, flat-packed, polymer-based accordion arrays, or even inflatable structures, our solar technology allows creative design approaches for maximizing power.
Alta Devices solar is designed for LEO and Small Satellite Constellations.
Our cells provide a new level of mechanical and design flexibility for the small satellite industry. Alta Devices solar technology for space leverages a patented, high-volume terrestrial manufacturing process to create high-efficiency solar arrays with excellent packing factor in a thin, flexible, and lightweight form-factor. This maximizes power while minimizing cost and launch weight. Our technology enables creative design approaches to maximizing on-board solar power for Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
Track record for design wins
Several players in the small satellite field are using Alta Devices solar technology including Twiggs Space Labs, Near Space Launch Inc. and OreSat (Part of the 2017 NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative)
“We’re very excited to be working with Alta Devices solar technology on our OreSat CubeSat project. These cells can be easily handled by students, don’t require traditionally painstaking encapsulation techniques…. And they provide excellent power output compared to other alternatives.” – Professor Greenberg, Portland State University
OreSat is using Alta Devices solar on Oregon’s first satellite. Part of the 2017 NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative, OreSat is a vehicle for collaborative, interdisciplinary aerospace engineering education for the state of Oregon.
OreSat will perform atmospheric science research and serve as a testbed for innovative long-range Wifi, solar cell and satellite bus technologies, all while providing innovative, STEM-based outreach to the entire state of Oregon and beyond.
More about OreSat can be found at http://oresat.org/
Audi Lunar Vehicle
Near Space Launch (NSL) Thinsat
NearSpace Launch ThinSat Constellation
ISSUE: Research in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is extremely expensive. Near Space Launch (NSL) needed a cost effective way to launch a constellation of 63 Thin Satellites for LEO research.
SOLUTION: Alta Devices solar technology was the only cost competitive solution available that was also thin, flexible, and light enough to supply power to 63 satellites. On April 17, 2019 all 63 satellites were launched during the second stage of the NG-11 Antares Rocket from NASA Wallops Flight Facility on a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The result was a mission success, allowing STEM programs worldwide to gather climate data in LEO. Now it is possible to explore LEO (90 to 270 km) with constellations of affordable small satellites.
NASA Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE)
ISSUE: A deeper understanding is needed of the hostile conditions in space such as extreme solar radiation, atomic oxygen and thermal cycling . These conditions can degrade the performance of conventional solar cells.
SOLUTION: Alta Devices has teamed with NASA to better understand the effects of long term exposure in space on solar technology. Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE), is the first experiment mounted externally on the International Space Station (ISS). This experiment will fly Alta Devices solar technology on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) for approximately one year. Results from this experiment will enable NASA to evaluate Alta Devices solar technology for future space missions.