Powering the next generation of space
DragonSCALES™ provides significant cost, weight and stowage volume benefits for today’s satellite constellations.
Space power systems have traditionally been composed of multijunction, high-efficiency III-V solar cells. Although these cells are very efficient, they are very high cost and have limited annual production capacity. These two limitations are highly problematic for the new era of commercial space, in particular the new large constellations being planned by companies such as SpaceX, Amazon and others. The amount of power needed annually to support the deployment of these new, large constellations exceeds the entire global III-V production capability and the price per watt needed is orders of magnitude lower. To help our customers address these issues, mPower Technology has developed DragonSCALES.
DragonSCALES maximizes power performance for today’s satellite constellation at the lowest end of life system cost. What makes DragonSCALES unique is not just the cell and module architecture, but how it integrates at the panel array level, minimizing many complex and costly system assembly steps. All of this is done while increasing reliability and reducing mass.
Benefits of our Technology
DragonSCALES technology uses the best Si cells for space applications, optionally enhanced for radiation recovery, and designed for space performance and survivability. By using state-of-the-art semiconductor packaging technologies, mPower assembles custom size and shaped Si cells into an insulator with embedded wiring providing a very low cost. Th result is a low mass and highly meshed matrix of Si cells with customizable sizes and voltage. The architecture minimizes fault containment regions and the potential need for bypass diodes.
mPower partners with key silicon manufacturers and R&D organizations worldwide to access the best inventory of silicon wafers ideally suited for DragonSCALES modules. mPower maintains a healthy inventory of these wafers, eliminating long lead times and production delays from existing III-V solutions.
By leveraging existing terrestrial-based capabilities and automation, mPower can manufacture high volumes for space applications with no significant capital expense.
DragonSCALES technology is fully encapsulated, protecting the entire module from atomic oxygen (AO) and plasma. This also provides radiation and IR rejection capabilities, and AO protection for low-orbiting missions.
mPower Technology enables doping technologies that enable full recovery of Si cells after radiation exposure when exposed to temperature over time. Radiation recovery begins at 28C and reaches full capabilities above 180C. Depending on the mission, there are potential design solutions which result in daily radiation losses below daily recovery rates, hence holding beginning-of-life performance throughout the mission.
By folding, rolling and avoiding traditional glass coverings, DragonSCALES can lead to stowage volumes that are orders of magnitude below current options. In addition, the simple, limited wiring, low-density solution provides mass savings versus traditional technologies.
DragonSCALES can be designed to meet any bus voltage for any shape or size, thereby filling any available area on a given substrate. DragonSCALES provides 95% or greater packing factor on most substrate shapes. The high packing factor, combined with radiation resilience, enables DragonSCALES modules to generate comparable watts per meter squared to traditional multijunction technologies at end of life without the significant additional cost.