January 5, 2021
MicroLink Devices is pleased to announce that it has been awarded and selected to pitch the following AFWERX projects.
1) Awarded AFWERX Phase I Program: Advance High Specific Energy Power Systems for eVTOL
The Air Force has identified a need for advance power systems to support future manned eVTOL platforms. MicroLink will develop an advance power system utilizing high specific energy Li-Ion cells and high specific power flexible solar arrays now used on solar-powered stratospheric UAVs. New solar and battery technologies from MicroLink Devices and Amprius are a pathway for advance energy generation and storage solutions that will significantly increase the flight endurance and capabilities of emerging eVTOL platforms. In Phase I and with support from the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a high specific energy power system will be demonstrated that will enable greater range and capability for emerging eVTOL platforms not possible with current battery technologies and the means for charging the platform while in flight or away from base will be shown further increasing flight time, range, and capability.
2) Selected for AFWERX Showcase: Space Qualification of MicroLink ELO Multijunction Solar Cells
MicroLink Devices will begin space qualification for its high efficiency epitaxially lifted off (ELO) IMM (inverted metamorphic) solar cells following AIAA-S111 & S112 standards. MicroLink's ELO solar cells have highest specific power >2000 W/Kg and exhibit AM0 efficiency exceeding 30%. Current space-based energy harvesting technology uses solar cells grown on Ge substrates that are neither flexible or lightweight. Several consortiums are currently developing small satellites for use in large constellation systems for low orbit deployment. These systems require a solar technology that is low cost, flexible, and lightweight. MicroLink's ELO solar cells are ideally suited as they are cheaper to manufacture and produce more power. By providing AIAA qualified ELO IMM cells to the satellite industry, an alternate and low cost photovoltaic solution that is reliable will be available to the growing space market.
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.