April 16, 2018

MicroLink Devices is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the following Phase I and Phase II programs.

1)  Navy SBIR Phase I Program: Floating Solar Arrays for Long-Endurance Sonobuoy Power Generation

The Navy has established the need for a long duration, maintenance-free power source to fit in a sonobuoy.  Power sources are required to integrate into the Navy's existing buoy handling logistics and be ready for deployment and operation at any time without the need for peripheral charging equipment or human intervention.  MicroLink Devices will develop a floating solar array that, when combined with rechargeable batteries, will be capable of continuously powering a sonobuoy for several years.  The array will be composed of our highly-efficient, lightweight, flexible epitaxial lift-off (ELO) GaAs solar cells so that it can be rolled up inside the sonobuoy prior to deployment.

2)  Navy STTR Phase II Program: Novel, High-Efficiency, Light-weight, Flexible Solar Cells as Electrical Power Generation Source

MicroLink Devices will integrate its high-efficiency, lightweight, and flexible solar sheets to the Puma UAS platform to significantly extend the flight endurance of the aircraft.  The Navy has a growing fleet of small UAS vehicles that enable tactical ISR capabilities not possible before, and a need to extended mission lengths of these battery-powered platforms is apparent.  MicroLink’s inverted metamorphic multi-junction (IMM) multi-junction ELO solar cell technology is the basis for manufacturing an advanced thin-film solar sheet technology that can produce enough power to sustain flight.  MicroLink will apply volume production techniques to solar cell and module manufacture for scale up and cost reduction.  Flexible solar cell array modules will be manufactured and integrated into the wing of a Puma UAS platform in a method that can be applied to other battery-powered UAS platforms.  For the Puma, output power from the solar enhanced wing will be in excess of 130 W enabling 8 or more hours of flight. 

3)  NASA SBIR Phase II Program: Radiation Tolerant >35% Efficient Phosphide-Based Multi-Junction Solar Cells with Epitaxial Lift-Off

As the world leader in volume production of large-area ELO III-V IMM solar cells, MicroLink will develop phosphide-based ELO-IMM four-junction (4J) and five-junction (5J) solar cells that will enhance the performance and capabilities of solar photovoltaic arrays for a variety of future NASA missions.  Relative to state-of-the-art incumbent (Al)GaInP/GaInAs/Ge wafer-based 3J space solar cells, the proposed 4J and 5J solar cells have superior radiation tolerance, higher beginning-of-life (BOL) and end-of-life (EOL) efficiencies (η), lower areal mass density, higher specific power, higher operating voltage, lower cost, and inherent flexibility.

About MicroLink Devices:

MicroLink Devices is an American owned company located in Niles, IL.  Dr. Noren Pan co­founded MicroLink Devices in 2000. MicroLink has specialized in the growth of epitaxial structures that are used to make the high performance HBTs and power amplifiers that are essential to the high-speed communications industry.  MicroLink is an ISO 9001 certified semiconductor manufacturer.  Over the last eight years, MicroLink has been a prime federal contractor on projects to develop solar cells, detectors, lasers, and high-speed transistors.  In recent years, MicroLink has ramped up the production of its ELO-based solar cells and sheets for use in mobile power generation applications.

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