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Design and Manufacturing of Solar Cells and Panels for Small-Satellites and In-Flight Performances

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6 Author(s)
Carlo Flores ; CESI S.p.A., via Rubattino 54, 20134 Milano (Italy ; Giuseppe Gabetta ; Maria Cristina Casale ; Guy Smekens
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This paper describes the design and manufacturing of solar cells and panels for ten Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) enhanced microsatellites. Five satellites belong to the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC), all successfully launched, and five to the RapidEye Constellation to be launched in 2007. This paper is describing the solar cell manufacturing technology, based on the utilisation of a unique 115 mm diameter Ge wafer, and the stabilisation of the efficiency to an average of 20%, AMO. The production of about 20,000 solar cells includes the deliveries to SSTL and to Ukraine and Russian small satellites. The SSTL interconnection, glassing and lay- down of the cells to make the solar array is also be presented. Currently 19 SSTL panels are flying in LEO polar orbits and some of the panels have so far experienced up to 20,000 eclipses. In-flight data of the solar panel performance recorded from the SSTL ground station will be finally presented in the paper

Published in:

2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conference  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

May 2006