Solar Energy Magazine – The Netherlands Space Office subsidizes a mechanism for folding solar panels in space

Solar Energy Magazine - The Netherlands Space Office subsidizes a mechanism for folding solar panels in space

The Netherlands Space Office (NSO) has awarded 10 promising space technologies from Dutch companies a subsidy of 50,000 euros; Including an unfolding mechanism for the solar panels.

Funds are earmarked for feasibility research. In the next support round, 5 promising innovations in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) technology will be rewarded with a total of €2.5 million in subsidy. This allows companies to develop their technology into a working prototype.

10 feasibility studies
The SBIR Technology Scheme encourages companies to develop technology that provides commercial opportunities or that could contribute in the future to ESA space missions. Ramon Peters, Head of the SBIR-T Project at NSO: We expect the results of 10 feasibility studies in mid-February. A new selection round will then follow to determine which of these ideas we will continue to support as the NSO.

The SBIR support scheme has been around for some time to develop applications based on satellite information. This is the first time that funds have been made available through SBIR to develop flight devices. “With this support, Dutch companies can show what they have to offer,” Peters says. “This way we are at the forefront of bidding for future space missions.”

Klum mechanism
NSO’s ambition is to issue a call for new ideas every two years.

Ideas awarded with €50,000 support for a feasibility study is a round-the-clock mechanism for solar panels for solar energy; In other words, a new folding mechanism for solar panels or devices on satellites.

This also includes a propulsion system with Lightweight Additive Manufacturing (VLAM), a National Generally Regulated Galileo Service receiver (NGPO) and a Control and Data Processing Unit (CDPU) to reliably control and process data for devices on the satellites.

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