Saturday, June 15, 2024

Momentus and Ascent Solar Technologies Partner to Bring to Market Leading-Edge Solar Arrays

Momentus Inc. and Ascent Solar Technologies announced a new partnership to jointly market leading-edge solar arrays utilizing the low-cost Tape Spring Solar Array (TASSA) being developed by Momentus and the high performance of Ascent’s flexible, lightweight photovoltaic modules.

The rapid growth in the production and deployment of thousands of satellites in space has led to the burgeoning need for low-cost, reliable solar arrays with high performance. Momentus and Ascent are excited to partner to market a leading-edge solar array designed to provide key advantages to customers, such as low-cost, resiliency with less degradation in the harsh environment in space, flexibility, and the ability to efficiently generate large amounts of power.

Building off the successes of the pathfinder demonstration of TASSA that was launched to Low-Earth Orbit on the Vigoride-6 mission one year ago and tested in space for several months, Momentus plans to add a high-power photovoltaic array as a differentiated feature of the next iteration of the TASSA product under development. Last year’s pathfinder TASSA demonstration validated solar blankets from Ascent Solar Technologies (Nasdaq: ASTI) (“ASTI”) as a mass efficient and robust power generation solution. Momentus plans to incorporate in TASSA new higher efficiency solar blankets from ASTI composed of space industry optimized Titan Modules, providing even lower cost per kW of power.

TASSA will continue to utilize Vigoride hardware with spaceflight heritage to provide customers an entire array subsystem complete with solar array rotation actuators and controllers. This approach is oriented at streamlining mission schedules and minimizing clean room bottlenecks during spacecraft assembly integration and testing. TASSA is designed for responsive launch as well as more efficient flatpack configurations which allow for more satellites to fit within launch vehicle payload fairings.

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“TASSA is designed to generate extensive power at very low cost while minimizing mass and volume,” said Rob Schwarz, Momentus CTO. “TASSA is intended to allow Smallsats to generate kilowatts of power on orbit without breaking their mass, thermal, or cost budgets. This design optimization also facilitates improved satellite packing efficiencies and allows constellations to be fielded quicker and cheaper.”

TASSA is also retractable and re-deployable, providing a means for the minimization of cross-sectional area and array exposure if notified of potential conjunction or other orbital hazards such as space weather. This could enable TASSA to facilitate longer mission durations and increased assurance of spacecraft operations on orbit.

“Ascent’s flexible, lightweight photovoltaic modules are ideal for the space environment,” says Paul Warley, ASTI CEO, “as our CIGS products are resilient to radiation and other drivers of degradation while operating in orbits between the Earth and the Moon. For those designing space missions, this equates to more end-of-life power with an order of magnitude less mass. We’re excited to be the baseline power generation solution for TASSA and look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Momentus team to provide long-lived and sustainable solutions for proliferated space architectures.”

SOURCE: Businesswire

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