Accession Number:

ADA446286

Title:

Space Plasma Experiment for Thin-Film Solar Cells with Protective Coatings

Descriptive Note:

Conference paper

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE

Report Date:

2005-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

6.0

Abstract:

This paper gives an overview of the space plasma test program for thin-film photovoltaics TFPV technologies developed at the AFRL. The test program is designed to simulate the interactions between TFPV arrays and plasmas characteristic of LEO and MEO environments. The response of coated amorphous silicon and copper-indium-gallium-diselenide solar cells to the simulated space plasma environment is presented. Solar cells used in these experiments were coated with two types of thin-film, multifunctional, protective coatings, which are designed to provide protection from the space environment, including space plasma, and to aid in passive thermal management of the TFPV arrays. The test coupons, which contain single cells and interconnected strings, closely resemble the actual configuration of high-voltage TFPV arrays that will be flown on the Demonstration and Science Experiments DSX. Results of preliminary electrostatic charging, arcing, dielectric breakdown, and parasitic current measurements are presented and analyzed. The preliminary experimental data presented in this paper demonstrate that multifunctional protective coatings developed for TFPV arrays provide effective protection against the plasma environment while minimizing impact on their power generation performance. This effort is part of an ongoing development program for TFPV led by the Space Vehicle Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory. Plasma interaction tests were carried out at the NASA Glenn Plasma Interaction Facility.

Subject Categories:

  • Electric Power Production and Distribution
  • Coatings, Colorants and Finishes
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Astrophysics
  • Unmanned Spacecraft
  • Manned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE