Boeing’s Spectrolab subsidiary will provide 3,360 NeXt Triple Junction solar cells for a NASA spacecraft that will be used for the agency’s Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission.
NASA’s SWOT initiative is expected to launch this month to investigate the ocean’s surface topography and cycle in order to gain insights that could help communities prepare for rising seas and changing coastlines.
The satellite’s six-panel solar array will contain the Spectrolab solar cells, which will power the instruments that will measure the height of the Earth’s waters.
The XTJ solar cells are capable of pulling power from multiple wavelengths, allowing higher efficiencies that commercially available silicon solar cells cannot provide.
Spectrolab was tapped to work on the solar cell technology by Thales Alenia Space, which was previously hired to produce the satellite bus and carry out the final assembly, integration and test.