DARPA awards Ascent Solar multi-million dollar contract for PoP program

The ASTI-led program, entitled "Flexible High-performance Tandem-junction PV Array", consists of three gated phases, the first of which is 18 months and has an approximate contract value of USD$3.8 million. The entire program is anticipated to continue over the next 54 months.

The goal of PoP is to demonstrate low-cost, lightweight photovoltaics (PV) that can stand up to battle conditions and environmental extremes while delivering a power conversion efficiency of 20 percent or greater by the end of the program, according to a statement released by the company.

"We are excited that DARPA selected our team for the PoP project," commented Farhad Moghadam, president and CEO of Ascent Solar. "In order to meet the aggressive goals of performance, capacity, and military toughness, our team has put together a definitive plan that combines our flexible CIGS production experience and existing MILSTD 810G military product, advanced high-temperature substrates from QinetiQ, the combined expertise in multijunction thin film technology from ASTI and IEC, films for optical and electrical enhancement from Brewer and Cambrios, and enhanced packaging technologies being developed by ITN and ASTI.

"The outcome of the program dovetails nicely with our existing technology improvement pathway for our flexible thin film monolithically integrated CIGS-based PV modules at 20 percent module efficiency for the Department of Defense (DoD)."

ASTI leads a team of small businesses (ITN Energy Systems, Littleton, CO, Cambrios Technologies Company, Sunnyvale, CA, Brewer Science, Rolla, MO), large business (QinetiQ North America-TSG, Boston, MA) and academia (Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC), Newark, DE) partners to leverage their collective expertise with dedicated funding from DARPA to meet the "highly aggressive" goals of the PoP program.