Spectrolab Eyes European Markets for Spacecraft Solar Cells
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 22 -- Spectrolab Inc. has received US government approval to provide solar cells, panels, and arrays to major European spacecraft manufacturers. Spectrolab's high-power solar cell products may now be carried by solar generators on spacecraft built by Dornier Satellitensystem GmbH (a DaimlerChrysler Company), Alcatel Space Industries, Alenia Aerospazio, and Matra Marconi Systems. Spectrolab's current domestic customers include Space Systems Loral, TRW, Orbital Sciences Corp., Ball Aerospace & Technologies Group, Lockheed Martin, Spectrum Astro, Boeing, and Hughes Space and Communications Co.
According to Spectrolab, the availability of its state-of-the-art solar cells will be an enabling factor in the race to higher revenue-generating spacecraft in Europe. The company noted that flight-proven, multi-junction gallium arsenide solar cells boost on-orbit power capacity to meet increasing market demands. In 1999, Spectrolab delivered flight program solar cells with an average conversion efficiency of 24.5 percent; next-generation cells with efficiencies as high as 27 percent are now available.
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