Vanguard Space Technologies selected Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. of Thornton, Colorado USA, for two additional Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) programs that require durable, flexible, and lightweight PV solutions. Vanguard reportedly plans to use its proprietary space environment protection technology along with automated manufacturing, combined with Ascents flexible CIGS -based PV, to create a very thin, high power-to-weight ratio, large space solar arrays for space. Vanguard also plans to integrate the solar pv cells into the wings of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Ascent says it will leverage the company’s experience with space-based solar and demonstrated UAV solar products to provide optimized variants of its production PV.
Dr. Joseph Armstrong, Chief Technology Officer of Ascent Solar stated, “Our existing flexible, monolithically integrated CIGS product represents an excellent starting point for a wide range of applications, including Vanguards space and UAV-based products. Our production CIGS represent an excellent option to futuristic solar cells where availability is as critical to mission success as our flexibility, light weight, and durability have been.”
Mr. Matt Wrosch, Manager of Solar Power Systems at Vanguard commented, “The advent of our extreme environment thin film coatings, automated manufacturing friendly array design, and Ascents proven cell technology provides an excellent fit for our ongoing investigations into next generation durable, affordable, large-area space solar arrays and also extended range UAV solar wing-skins.”