Solar cells are a necessity for power in space. Alta Devices lightweight, thin, flexible, gallium arsenide solar cells are matrixed together to form high-efficiency solar arrays that maximize power while minimizing cost and launch weight.
Can You 3D Print Metal Parts in Space? Of Course
Sending materials to space is a slow and expensive process, one that Made In Space, a Mountain View, California-based company, plans to revolutionize. Made in Space currently uses a 3D Printer on the space station (about the size of a microwave) to make plastic parts for antennas, radars, and satellites- and they hope to start printing metals in the next couple years. This technology is already being used on Earth by companies such as General Electric Co. and Siemens AG, and could provide major benefits to the aerospace industry when it comes to saving time and resources.
The biggest immediate advantage of these approaches is that the completed spacecraft or satellite assembly is not subject to the severe acceleration, shock and vibration loads of launch. Alta Devices makes thin, efficient and glass-free solar cells with very high volumetric density and superb tolerance for shock, vibration and manual handling ideally suited for ‘made in space’ projects.
Rocket Lab: Meet the Newest Player in the Global Space Industry
At the end of January, California spaceflight startup Rocket Lab successfully launched three small satellites into orbit. This was the second flight test for Rocket Lab, and its early-on success has been described as ‘unprecedented’. The company plans to do another launch early this year, and has said that they ultimately plan on carrying out 50 launches per year. “Today marks the beginning of a new era in commercial access to space,” said CEO Peter Beck.
Upcoming Alta Events
February 5 – 8, 2018 – Mountain View, CA
The SmallSat Symposium is one of the leading business and finance shows for small satellites. Join experts and world leaders to explore cutting-edge technology and the growing market for small satellites. Learn from and network with key industry players as they answer major questions facing the market today. Learn More
Highlights from the Alta Blog
Small Satellites- Key Terms You Should Know
We compiled a list of industry-related terminology so that you can get up to speed on this exciting and growing field.
We define terms like CubeSat, Nanosat, and Geostationary Orbit. Read more here.
Disruption in Space
The space industry has historically been dominated by a few large corporations, however it is now experiencing a major shift. Recently, startups, government agencies, and academia have entered the aerospace realm, challenging the traditional manufacturing and production techniques of established firms. Read more here.
See what have we’ve been up to on social media!
Lightweight, High-Performance Solar Cells for High Power-to-Weight and Deployable Solar Arrays
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