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TDB Backs Dhruva Space’s Vision for Space-grade Solar Array Advancements

Hyderabad: In a significant move towards fostering indigenous capabilities in the space sector, the Technology Development Board (TDB) has extended its financial support to M/s Dhruva Space Private Limited, Hyderabad, for their pioneering project titled “Space Grade Solar Array Fabrication and Test Facility.” This collaboration marks a crucial step towards advancing technological innovations in the space industry and promoting self-reliance in space-grade solar array technologies.

TDB’s sanction of financial assistance underscores its confidence in Dhruva Space’s project, which aims to develop and commercialize space-grade solar array fabrication and testing processes specifically tailored for spacecraft applications. The project, with TDB’s backing, is poised to drive advancements in solar panel manufacturing to meet the rigorous demands of on-orbit usage.

Dhruva Space’s initiative encompasses several key innovations, including the utilization of advanced materials such as carbon fiber and resins for substrate-side IP to enhance performance and durability. The project also focuses on process innovations in solar cell assembly (SCA) through novel stringing and bonding techniques. By leveraging triple-junction GaAs technology, the company aims to manufacture high-efficiency solar panels with a target efficiency of up to 30%. Additionally, a specialized test facility will be developed to ensure compliance and certification of space-grade solar arrays.

The project further entails the implementation of space-qualified processes, covering substrate fabrication, precise cell welding, secure cell bonding, integration of electrical harnesses, and comprehensive testing and evaluation. Mechanical tests will include vibration, shock, and full-panel assessments, while electrical evaluations will utilize a Large Area Pulsed Sun Simulator for thorough testing. Environmental testing will encompass thermo-vacuum chamber conditions and acoustic testing, with zero-gravity (Zero G) deployment simulations to assess performance in space environments.

Expressing enthusiasm about the initiative, Rajesh Kumar Pathak, Secretary of the Technology Development Board, stated, “We are excited to support M/s Dhruva Space in their endeavor to develop cutting-edge space-grade solar array technologies. This project perfectly aligns with TDB’s mission to promote indigenous innovation and strengthen India’s capabilities in domestic production, furthering India’s commitment to becoming a global hub for advanced and cost-effective space technologies.”

Sanjay Nekkanti, CEO of Dhruva Space, expressed gratitude towards the Technology Development Board, Department of Science & Technology, for enabling the scaling of their capabilities in designing, engineering, and testing spacecraft solar arrays. He emphasized the importance of such initiatives in not only enhancing India’s capabilities but also positioning the country as a leader in space power solutions on a global scale.

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