Solestial Awarded NASA SBIR Ignite Contracts to Develop Next Generation Solar Arrays

Solestial Awarded NASA SBIR Ignite Contracts to Develop Next Generation Solar Arrays

Solestial, the solar energy company for space, announced that it has been awarded $849,954 for a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research ("SBIR") contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The winning proposal titled, "Next Generation Silicon Based Solar Arrays for Space Stations and Other Permanent Space Infrastructure," comes on the heels of a $149,987 Phase I contract in January 2023. 

The contracts are from a new pilot program, SBIR Ignite, that funds commercially viable technologies from U.S. startups to support research and development and promote economic growth.

The 18-month SBIR Phase II contract will provide funds to support the development of next-generation, 50-kilowatt ("kW") class solar array wings. Solestial's silicon solar blanket technology will allow for arrays larger than any ever built, while also maintaining lower mass and competitive efficiency. The array will be developed in collaboration with Opterus Research & Development who will develop a low-cost, novel deployment system for Solestial's ultrathin, flexible, silicon solar blankets.

"The private space stations and lunar bases of tomorrow will require a tremendous amount of power, and currently, there are no affordable and scalable space solar technologies that can accommodate this demand," said Stan Herasimenka, Solestial Co-Founder and CEO. "Our affordable and low-mass solar blankets will help to overcome size, cost, and manufacturing limitations to power large-scale spacecraft and surface infrastructure. We're excited to work with Opterus to make this vision a reality."

Solestial's contract-winning proposal focuses on integrating its ultrathin, low mass, radiation-hardened solar blankets with Opterus' patent pending Retractable-Rollable Mast Array ("R-ROMA") advanced deployable solar array structure. The R-ROMA is a highly scalable tensioned solar blanket array with double z-folding panels deployed by a single state-of-the-art rollable composite boom. The partnership between Solestial and Opterus will marry the two technologies to overcome the size, cost, and mass limitations of existing solar array technologies. Ultimately, Solestial hopes to achieve 50 kW scale and 200 W/kg array-level specific power while simultaneously reducing costs and scaling manufacturing potential.

Solestial's Phase I SBIR Ignite contract made it possible to develop the critical technologies required to create a working prototype of the silicon blanket technology. The Phase II award will fund a full-size 50 kW solar array design and space testing of a scaled model.

"We're excited to be partnering with Solestial on this pioneering technology development project," said Erik Pranckh, Director of Business Development, at Opterus. "Our high-performance deployment systems pair perfectly with low-mass solar blankets from Solestial. Together, we can develop the powerful, affordable, next-generation solar arrays needed to power development in space."

The Ignite award marks the ninth such contract received by Solestial. To date, the firm has received nearly $4 million in contracts from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Air Force.

Click here to learn more about Solestial's Solar Panels.

Click here to learn about Solar Panels from various manufacturers listed on SATNow.

Publisher: SatNow

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013