ORPE Technologiya developed a carrier for new-generation spacecraft solar cells

22 November 2018
ORPE Technologiya named after A.G. Romashin (the holding company RT-Chemcomposite belonging to the Rostec State Corporation) developed a CFRP load-carrying structure for a new solar module of an advanced spacecraft. Due to the use of composite materials the structure is the lightest worldwide by specific weight, and its high strength will protect photocells of the module from cosmic particles, radiation and space debris.

The CFRP panel in which the solar cells will be installed is much lighter than its counterparts, which makes it 30% more efficient and several times cheaper than existing counterparts. The maximal specific weight of the assembly was 1.5 kg/m2, which is the best value worldwide. The specimen of the product successfully passed the component test, and it is currently involved in integrated tests.

“Ergonomics and weight of a product play a key role for space developments. Every excessive kilogram reduces efficiency and operation time of spacecraft. By using the unique composite materials our designers managed to produce a light and high-strength structure”, said Oleg Yevtushenko, Executive Director of the Rostec State Corporation.

The composite structure is developed by the Obninsk Research and Production Enterprise Technologiya named after A.G. Romashin in partnership with RPE TAIS. In their turn, the special solar cells are a joint product of the Hevel Group and RPE TAIS.

“The project has great potential in particular as a civil commercial product. Participating in cooperation with space industry enterprises lets us successfully use our unique competences and extend the scientific reserve”, noted Andrei Silkin, Director General of ORPE Technologiya.

ORPE Technologiya is one of the leading innovative enterprises in the development and production of composite materials, and the leader in the output of composite products in Russia. Technologiya takes one third of the Russian market of composites, being among the top five of the leading companies in the industry worldwide. The volume of R&D and supply of serial polymer composite material (PCM) products increases annually at least by 20%, and is about 20 tons of CFRP structures per year. PCM products for the aerospace industry make up the largest share in the output.