Mock up of an ultralight multifunctional tile built by Caltech's SSPI team. The tile includes photovoltaic with 10X light concentration, an integrated circuit, and a radiating patch antenna. It is 10 cm x 10 cm and weighs less than 1.5 grams.
Caltech and Northrop Grumman Corporation have signed a $17.5 million sponsored research agreement for the development of the Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI). The initiative will develop technologies in three areas: high-efficiency ultralight photovoltaics; ultralight deployable space structures; and phased array and power transmission. "The Space Solar Power Initiative brings together electrical engineers, applied physicists, and aerospace engineers in the type of profound interdisciplinary collaboration that is seamlessly enhanced at a small place like Caltech... We are working on extremely difficult problems that could eventually provide the world with new, and very cost-competitive technology for sustainable energy,” said EAS Chair Ares Rosakis. [Caltech story] [Northrop Grumman Release]
Northrop Grumman's Joseph Ensor (left) and Caltech's Ares Rosakis (right) shake hands as part of the recent SSPI commemoration event held at Caltech.