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26 February 2014

Emcore awarded solar panel manufacturing contract by ATK for NASA’s InSight Mars Lander Mission

Emcore Corp of Albuquerque, NM, USA, which makes compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the fiber-optic and solar power markets, has been awarded a contract by aerospace, defense and commercial products firm ATK of Arlington, VA, USA to design and manufacture solar panels for NASA’s InSight Mars Lander. The mission, managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is planned for launch in March 2016.

Solar panels using Emcore’s ZTJ triple-junction solar cells will power the InSight spacecraft, which will be built and operated by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Denver, CO, USA. ATK will integrate Emcore’s solar panels into its heritage-designed UltraFlex solar arrays for the final flight configuration of the spacecraft.

InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior. InSight will also serve as a terrestrial planet explorer, opening a window into the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system (including Earth) more than 4 billion years ago.

“Missions of this magnitude require extremely high reliability and proven performance,” says David Messner, VP & general manager of Solar Arrays and Deployables for ATK’s Space Components division. “We are pleased to be partnering with Emcore again,” he adds.

“This contract with ATK is a very important award for Emcore,” says Dr Brad Clevenger, executive VP & general manager of Emcore’s Photovoltaics Division. “Emcore has partnered with ATK on many successful programs and has supported several high-profile NASA-JPL missions including the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) that carried the rover ‘Curiosity’ to Mars,” he adds.

“Emcore is in the process of delivering solar panels for several other NASA missions, including the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) with ATK,” notes Navid Fatemi, VP of business development for Emcore Photovoltaics. “We greatly value our long-standing business relationship with ATK.”

With a beginning-of-life (BOL) conversion efficiency nearing 30% and the option for a patented, onboard monolithic bypass diode, Emcore's multi-junction solar cells provide amongst the highest available power to interplanetary spacecraft and earth orbiting satellites, says the firm.

See related items:

Emcore signs solar panel manufacturing contract with ATK

ATK awards Emcore $5m solar panel contract for AMOS-6 telecom satellite

ATK awards Emcore solar panel contract for Orbital’s cargo missions to ISS

Emcore awarded PV contract for NASA Crew Exploration Vehicle project

Tags: Emcore Triple-junction solar cells ATK

Visit: www.emcore.com

Visit: www.atk.com

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