FURI | Spring 2019

The Dynamic Reconfiguration of Solar Cells on Spacecrafts

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Currently, spacecraft solar arrays can degrade from 20-50% in power producing capability over a 15-year mission, making it unfeasible for current state-of-the-art designs to access the full power available from the solar array. The objective of this research is to elongate the duration of spacecraft missions by creating a gallium nitride (GaN) switch that will dynamically reconfigure dead or near-death solar cells while they are in space, on their missions. A switch has been designed and coded that will be temperature and radiation robust so that it will endure the difficulties of launch and space travel.

Student researcher

Liam Anthony Nguyen

Electrical engineering

Hometown: Peoria, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2020