ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SolAero Technologies Corp. a leading provider of high efficiency solar cells, assemblies and panels for space power applications, announced today that it has been awarded a contract by ATK (NYSE:ATK) to design and manufacture solar panels for NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) planned for launch in 2015.
Solar panels populated with SolAero’s most advanced ZTJ triple-junction solar cells will power a satellite that will carry the GPIM payload. ATK will integrate SolAero’s solar panels into its heritage-designed solar arrays for final flight configuration for the GPIM satellite.
The GPIM project will demonstrate the practical capabilities of AF-M315E, a high-performance green alternative to hydrazine that has traditionally been used to fuel many spacecraft. This innovative, low-toxicity propellant is expected to improve overall vehicle performance. It boasts a higher density than hydrazine, meaning that more can be stored in containers of the same volume, and it delivers a greater thrust per given quantity of fuel.
GPIM is supported by co-investigators including NASA’s Glenn Research Center and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio; Aerojet Corporation, a GenCorp company in Washington; NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida; and the U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.
“ATK is pleased to be providing the solar arrays for the GPIM project to Ball Aerospace, and we look forward to another successful collaboration with SolAero in support of this innovative program,” said Dave Messner, General Manager of ATK Space Systems in Goleta, Calif.
“SolAero is extremely pleased and honored to receive this program award from ATK,” said Brad Clevenger, Ph.D., President & CEO of SolAero Technologies Corp. “SolAero has partnered with ATK on many successful missions, and we greatly value our long-standing business relationship. We look forward to supporting ATK on the Green Propellant Infusion Mission.”
SolAero is the world’s leading manufacturer of highly-efficient radiation-hard solar cells for space power applications. With a Beginning-Of-Life (BOL) conversion efficiency nearing 30% and the option for a patented, onboard monolithic bypass diode, SolAero’s industry-leading multi-junction solar cells provide amongst the highest available power to interplanetary spacecraft and earth orbiting satellites. SolAero’s proven manufacturing capability, technology leadership and high-reliability solar cells and panels make us the supplier of choice for demanding spacecraft power systems.
ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. Further news and information about ATK can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk, or on Twitter @ATK.