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Sandia-developed solar cell technology reaches space

Sandia National Laboratories

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Somewhere among the glitter of the night sky is a small satellite powered by innovative, next-generation solar cell technology developed at Sandia National Laboratories.

Former Sandia National Laboratories scientist Murat Okandan in 2017 shows a prototype of small, lightweight, flexible solar cell technology developed at the labs. The technology was licensed by mPower Technology, a small New Mexico company founded by Okandan. The tiny photovoltaic cells are now orbiting Earth for the first time on a small satellite. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

mPower Technology’s DragonSCALES, consist of small, highly interconnected photovoltaic cells formerly known as solar glitter at Sandia. They are orbiting Earth for the first time on a Lynk Global Inc. satellite that supports direct connection to unmodified mobile phones. The satellite was launched this summer