Spacecraft power systems are typically large and heavy, adding significant cost to government and commercial missions. However, a Pennsylvania-based small business is pushing the boundaries to create a more compact solution that boosts reliability and drives down the price.
Backed by the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program, QorTek Inc. developed a new ceramics-based electronics technology that is smaller and lighter, as well as better suited for high-temperature and radiation environments, than traditional space power systems.
Officials at Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate say the effort was a success as the new part performed well under initial radiation testing. That sets the stage for a whole new class of power solutions for missile and space applications.
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