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NASA's MMS Mission to Have Solar Panels Provided by Emcore


NASA’s Goddard space Flight Centre (GSFC) has awarded a contract to Emcore Corporation, a provider of subsystems and semiconductor-based components for the solar power and fiber optic markets. The value of the contract is about $10 million and refers to producing, testing and delivering panels for the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (MMS).

According to Encore CEO, this NASA contract is considered as a significant award for the company. Solar panels have been satisfyingly delivered to GSFC’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, that is powering the spacecraft orbiting the moon.

However, Emcore’s third-generation triple-junction (ZTJ) Indium Gallium Phosphide/ Indium Gallium Arsenide/ Germanium (InGaP/InGaAs/Ge) solar cells with n-on-p polarity on 140-micrometre uniform thickness will help the corporation deliver 32 solar panels.

As a result, four separate MMS spacecraft can be powered. It seems that solar panels will be produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The multi-junction ZTJ solar cell, which is space-qualified and high-performing, is able to provide an efficiency of almost 30 percent at converting sunlight into electricity.

Emcore produces and installs mechanical, plumbing, electrical, communications and other types of systems for international organizations and not only. It is the world’s largest producer of solar cells for space power demands. Having a network of 70 branches, Emcore has participated in many construction projects, such as famous casinos in Las Vegas, London’s subway rail system, or important highways.

From 1995 to 2003, the corporation had registered 32 profitable quarters in sequence. So, Emcore’s multi-junction solar cells are the best option for providing energy to Earth-orbiting satellites and the interplanetary spacecraft.

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