SSL signs Azur Space as second solar cell supplier

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Satellite manufacturer Space Systems Loral added European solar cell company Azur Space to its supplier base, signing a three-year supply contract last week.

Azur Space, which began selling multi-junction solar cells in the U.S. two years ago, is now SSL’s second supplier for solar cells, joining anchor supplier SolAero, a dominant player in the U.S. spacecraft solar power market, SSL spokesperson Omar Mahmoud told SpaceNews Friday (Sept. 8).

This is Azur Space’s first contract with SSL. SSL says it plans to integrate the populated panels into solar array wings itself.

Azur Space has supplied solar cells for large European programs including Galileo, the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE) mission, and Europe’s first SmallGEO satellite, the OHB Systems-built Hispasat-36W-1.

The company will ship its 3G30C-Advanced solar cells from its factory in Heilbronn, Germany under a purchase agreement from now to 2020.

SSL and Azur Space’s contract includes options for additional years.

Azur Space describes its 3G30C-Advanced solar cell as “the most radiation-hardened cell available today.” The company also produces solar assemblies and panels for both space and terrestrial power applications.