USA: EMCORE Corp. has been awarded a contract by ATK to design and manufacture solar panels for NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) planned for launch in 2015.
Solar panels populated with EMCORE's most advanced ZTJ triple-junction solar cells will power a satellite that will carry the GPIM payload. ATK will integrate EMCORE's solar panels into its heritage-designed solar arrays for final flight configuration for the GPIM satellite.
The GPIM project will demonstrate the practical capabilities of AF-M315E, a high-performance green alternative to hydrazine that has traditionally been used to fuel many spacecraft. This innovative, low-toxicity propellant is expected to improve overall vehicle performance. It boasts a higher density than hydrazine, meaning that more can be stored in containers of the same volume, and it delivers a greater thrust per given quantity of fuel.
GPIM is supported by co-investigators including NASA's Glenn Research Center and the US Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio; Aerojet Corporation, a GenCorp company in Washington; NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida; and the US Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.