German Aerospace Center (DLR) Selects Ascent Solar’s CIGS Modules for Testing as Part of Solar Sail Development Project

CIGS thin-film solar developer and producer, Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. of Thorton, Colorado USA, reported that the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) selected the company for further testing to develop custom PV products for DLR’s upcoming solar array deployment system.

DLR’s new GOSOLAR project intends to test the deployment technology required for a large-scale solar power generation system using a flexible photovoltaic membrane. Ascent Solar says its technology will allow DLR to address the very challenging current requirements that come with this innovative approach to gossamer solar-sail deployment. Ascent Solar says the use of its patented monolithically integrated modules will let DLR realize their unique deployment design while maximizing the area generating electrical power.

DLR Gosolar Project

DLR’s Gosolar project is the first part of the long-term project to develop and demonstrate the use of a solar sail as viable means of propulsion for unmanned space exploration vehicles. The company detailed the advances required to achieve solar sailing and the steps that the company planned to take to make those advances in a 2011 paper in Advances in Space Research.

Dr. Joseph Armstrong, Chief Technology Officer and founding member of Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. commented, “We have demonstrated the ability to adjust the physical dimensions of our modules to meet the need of customers, and with unique deployment schemes employed by DLR, correctly sizing our solution to accommodate proper stowage and deployment is critical.”

Victor Lee, President and CEO of Ascent Solar said, “Our design allows us to maximize the surface area of our award-winning solar technology while keeping the thin and lightweight profile of the deployed solar sails. We look forward to further development and testing with DLR in the coming years.”

Reference

U. Geppertad, B. Bieringa, et al. “The 3-step DLR–ESA Gossamer road to solar sailing,” Advances in Space Research, Volume 48, Issue 11, 1 December 2011, Pages 1695-1701. doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2010.09.016