Military Embedded Systems

Solar array systems proposals for space electric propulsion systems sought by NASA


April 30, 2012

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

WASHINGTON. Officials at NASA's Space Technology Program announced that they are looking for proposals on developing solar array systems that enable future space electric propulsion systems that can travel much further than low Earth orbit.

The solicitation covers two acquisition phases and a competitive selection process. During the first phase, proposers will analyze, design, and test a scalable solar array system that can generate more than 30kW of power. The Phase I teams also will look to identify the most critical technological risks of extending their concepts to 250 kW or greater power levels. The Phase II intent is to prove flight readiness via an in-space demonstration of a modular, advanced, and extendable solar array system. After the second phase, follow-on applications will range from solar electric propulsion systems to high power communications satellites.

Proposals are requested from industry and nonprofit organizations, NASA centers and other government agencies, educational institutions, federally funded research and development centers, and educational institutions. NASA expects to make as many as three awards for Phase I proposals, with total combined costs totaling approximately $15 to $20 million, based on funding availability.

This solicitation is an appendix to NASA's Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development research announcement and also can be found through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System website by going to "Solicitations" and then "Open Solicitations" at:

NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., will manage the Game Changing Development Program and also oversee technical aspects of the technology development effort under Phase I. NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is responsible for managing the awarded contracts for the agency's Space Technology Program for both phases. For more information on the Game Changing Development Program's activities, visit: For more information about NASA's Technology Demonstration Missions Program, which manages Phase II, visit:


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