Entech Wins $1.8 Million NASA Contract
KELLER, Texas, Jan. 24 -- A space technology team led by Entech Inc., has been awarded a $1.8 million contract from NASA to develop a unique solar array for powering future satellites and spacecraft. The new solar array uses flexible, ultralight lenses to focus sunlight onto high-efficiency solar cells. NASA has already tested a prototype of the new solar array with a record 27.4 percent efficiency converting sunlight to electricity. This efficiency is more than double the efficiency of the recently deployed solar arrays on the International Space Station, said Entech. In addition, the new array is much lighter than previous space solar arrays, providing five times more power per pound than the International Space Station arrays.
Entech was among the 111 proposals chosen -- from a pool of 1229 -- which will be used by NASSA for advanced technology developments for future missions.
NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, has awarded the prime contract to Entech, who will be supported by organizations such as 3M in St. Paul, Minn., which will provide the flexible lenses. Spectrolab, a subsidiary of Boeing in Sylmar, Calif., will provide the high-efficiency solar cells and AEC-ABLE Engineering Co., in Santa Barbara, Calif., will provide the mechanical and structural portions of the array.
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