Market Overview

Alta Devices Powers Successful CubeSat Mission

Share:

Alta Devices Modular, Lightweight and Highly Efficient Solar Cells

Enabled Rapid Development and Deployment of Innovative FastBus Small
Satellite Platform

A successful CubeSat mission by Twiggs Space Lab, LLC (TSL), NearSpace
Launch, Inc. (NSL) and their launch logistics partner, NanoRacks LLC
(NanoRacks), was powered by Alta
Devices
solar. The Asgardia-1 satellite was based on NSL's FastBus
platform and powered by approximately 24 watts of Alta solar cells.
Launched in November 2017 on an Orbital ATK (now Northrop Grumman) cargo
resupply mission, the 2U-size FastBus was inserted into a 475 km low
earth orbit in December 2017 via the NanoRacks External Cygnus Deployer.
The 2U satellite carried a payload which included a solid-state memory
experiment and particle detectors used to determine the actual effects
of on-orbit radiation.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180806005154/en/

Asgardia-1 satellite (Photo: Business Wire) 

Asgardia-1 satellite (Photo: Business Wire) 

TSL, NSL and NanoRacks are at the forefront of small satellite
innovation and are pioneering new, disruptive models of satellites that
are much smaller, simpler, and more affordable. Their mission is to
broaden access to space for educational as well as commercial
participants. They selected Alta Devices solar technology due to its
unique modular, lightweight, and high efficiency characteristics.

Bob Twiggs, founder of TSL, states, "Our goal is to inspire future
generations of engineers and scientists through innovation in the field
of space. Alta Devices technology is easy to integrate, and its modular
form factor is well-suited to the standardized dimensions of CubeSats.
Our team is excited about the potential to innovate and rapidly
prototype using this technology". Dr. Hank Voss, founder of NearSpace
Launch, Inc. adds, "With the FastBus, we aim to provide a reliable,
affordable, and quick-turn CubeSat platform built on our heritage of
communication and bus technologies. We are very excited to be using Alta
Devices technology to serve the needs of our stakeholders."

NanoRacks CEO, Jeffrey Manber, said, "At Nanoracks, we're focused on
lowering the barriers of entry to space. We see adoption of innovative
solar and bus technologies as another critical piece of the puzzle in
making space exploration accessible to entrepreneurs, scientists,
students, corporations, and space researchers around the world." About
Alta's glass-free solar cells he added, "any component that is more
robust, withstands the launch loads, and maintains a clean ride-share
environment is going to make things easier for everyone on a practical
and regulatory perspective. The Alta solar cells came through with
flying colors on the Asgardia-1 satellites."

CubeSats (satellites weighing less than 15kg) were originally developed
for university students to participate in space research. The standard
has now been adopted worldwide and has helped to ignite a small
satellite revolution. Typically placed into low-earth orbits, they often
have standardized or off-the-shelf components and have facilitated more
affordable and easier access to space. CubeSats are driving new
industries via the explosion of big data accessible from space.

All satellites need solar cells to generate electrical power. Until now,
no commercial solar technologies could match the improvement in cost,
weight, and ease of use that other components of small satellite
technology have achieved: solar cells are traditionally expensive,
fragile, rigid, and difficult to encapsulate and robustly attach to
spacecraft.

Alta Devices solar cells overcome these challenges because they are
flexible, easy to encapsulate and mount, and provide high power
conversion efficiencies. For example, Alta Devices cells can be mounted
to low-mass deployable structures including coiled carbon fiber booms,
flat-packed, polymer-based accordioned arrays, even inflatable
structures, allowing creative design approaches to maximizing onboard
solar power. Alta Devices is empowering autonomy, as its cells provide a
new level of mechanical and design flexibility for the small satellite
industry.

Jian Ding, CEO of Alta Devices, explains, "Innovation in solar is
essential to the continued evolution of small satellite technology. The
industry has seen disruptive change in every technology area except in
solar cells. Solar cells were expensive, challenging to integrate, and
hard to procure, until now. The success of the FastBus mission provides
another data point validating our technology and further cements our
commitment to our partners as they plan their upcoming launches."

Alta Devices will be exhibiting at the 32nd Annual Small
Satellite Conference in Logan, UT this year at Booth 145. On display
will be Alta Devices solar technologies and TSL and NSL SmallSats.
NanoRacks will be in attendance at the Small Satellite Conference in the
East Colony Room.

About Twiggs Space Lab

Twiggs Space Lab, LLC is focused on creating STEAM based products and
curriculum to stimulate, engage, and encourage students to pursue
interests in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. The
company's mission is to inspire future generations of engineers and
scientists to make the world a better place through innovative research
in space. Prof. Twiggs was a consulting professor at Stanford University
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics starting in 1994 where he
established the Space Systems Development Laboratory. While at Stanford
in 1999, he was the co-developer of the CubeSat concept. Prof. Twiggs
was also the creative mind responsible for developing the original
concepts for the CricketSat, CanSat, and the PocketQube for educational
applications for use in space. Prof. Twiggs has published numerous
papers and made dozens of presentations at technical conferences in the
US and internationally.

About NearSpace Launch, Inc.

NearSpace Launch, Inc. (NSL) was started by two Taylor University
professors, Hank Voss & Jeff Dailey following the successful Mission of
TSAT in spring of 2014. This mission proved the effectiveness of a
Globalstar radio connection for extraterrestrial radio communication.
NSL manufactures and produces custom satellites, Globalstar enabled
communication systems, and high-altitude balloons for a variety of
educational, commercial, and government applications. To date, NSL has a
100% mission success rate with 5 out of 5 custom satellites flying their
missions, and many more radios and components excelling at their
respective mission tasks. NSL manufactures and produces custom
satellites, Globalstar enabled communication systems, and high-altitude
balloons for a variety of educational, commercial, and government
applications. NearSpace Launch, Inc. built Nanoracks' Asgardia-1
satellite as well as MakerSAT-0, which launched in fall 2017. For more
information visit www.nearspacelaunch.com

About Nanoracks LLC

NanoRacks is the world's first commercial space station company with an
existing customer base. The company offers low-cost, high-quality
solutions to the most pressing needs for satellite deployment, basic and
educational research and both at home and in 30 nations worldwide for
those new to the industry and aerospace veterans. Since 2009,
Texas-based NanoRacks has truly created new markets and ushered in a new
era of in space-services. As of July 2018, over 700 payloads have been
launched to the International Space Station via NanoRacks services, and
our customer base includes the European Space Agency (ESA) the German
Space Agency (DLR,) the American space agency (NASA,) US Government
Agencies, Spire, Millennium Space Systems, Space Florida, NCESSE, Virgin
Galactic, pharmaceutical companies, and organizations in Vietnam, UK,
Romania and Israel.

About Alta Devices

Alta Devices is Empowering Autonomy™ by delivering the world's most
efficient, thin and flexible mobile power technology. By converting
light of any kind into electricity, Alta Devices' AnyLight™ power
technology extends the energy source of a system, and in many cases,
completely cuts the traditional power cord. The solution can be
completely integrated into the final system, and is ideal for use in
small satellites, unmanned systems, consumer electronics, sensors,
automotive, remote exploration, or anywhere size, weight, and mobility
matter. Alta Devices holds world records for energy conversion
efficiency and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. For more information,
visit www.altadevices.com.
Alta Devices is a Hanergy company.

All trademarks and registered trademarks are those of their
respective companies.

View Comments and Join the Discussion!