Multi-junction solar cells manufactured by the Boeing [NYSE:BA] Spectrolab unit were inducted today into the Space Technology Hall of Fame at the 20th National Space Symposium sponsored by the U.S. Space Foundation.
Four Spectrolab associates -- Bruce T. Cavicchi, James Ermer, Dr. Nasser H. Karam and Dr. Richard R. King -- were honored at the 16th Space Technology Hall of Fame dinner in Colorado Springs, Colo. Also honored were representatives of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for sponsoring research and development in this technology area.
Spectrolab, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing Satellite Systems, is the leading manufacturer of space-qualified multi-junction solar cells and panels. The latest solar cells now in production, called the Ultra Triple Junction solar cells, feature Spectrolab's third-generation triple junction design. These cells are able to convert more than 28 percent of the sunlight reaching them into electricity, making them the world's most efficient solar cell available in the industry.
"This award is a fitting and well deserved tribute to the Spectrolab team. Spectrolab solar cells and panels have provided reliable power for many decades to all our satellite models, and have enabled satellite power growth across the industry in recent years," said David Ryan, vice president and general manager of Boeing Satellite Systems. "The high performance and reliability of Spectrolab solar panels has been consistently validated on our high power Boeing 601HP and 702 satellites and we have already incorporated their Ultra Triple Junction technology into our latest satellite designs."
Dr. David Lillington, president of Spectrolab, praised his colleagues for dedication to continuous improvement in the quality, reliability and performance of space solar panels. He also thanked the Air Force for supporting Spectrolab's efforts to develop this technology.
Spectrolab triple junction solar cells are currently powering numerous commercial and government satellites, including Galaxy IIIC, a Boeing 702 satellite that is one of the world's most powerful satellites ever launched into space.
To date, Spectrolab has delivered more than 1.4 million multi-junction space solar cells to leading domestic and international satellite manufacturers, accounting for more than 350 kilowatts of power generated on orbit. Spectrolab solar cells and panels have powered more than 500 satellites and interplanetary missions during the past 40 years.
Multi-junction solar cell development was supported by multiple agencies including the U.S. Air Force and NASA, under cost-share programs. The technology gives satellite operators the option to double the power generation capabilities of their satellites, therefore increasing their revenue potential, or controlling costs by reducing spacecraft size without sacrificing spacecraft capability.
Headquartered in Sylmar, Calif., Spectrolab is also a leading supplier of searchlights and solar simulators. For more information, visit the Spectrolab website.