The Boeing company – which is based in Sylmar, California – will manufacture, integrate and test the cells under the terms of the agreement with NASA. They will provide power to both the telescope and the primary mirror, which is 2.4 meters in diameter. The power to the telescope will include its two main instruments: the Wide Field Instrument and the Coronagraph Instrument.
The solar array consists of six panels, each approximately 3m x 2.5m and consisting of 4,000 triple junction solar cells. According to the company, theses cells leverage multiple bandgaps tuned to different wavelengths of the solar spectrum, allowing higher efficiencies not possible with commercially available silicon solar cell technology.
“Using Spectrolab’s XTJ Prime solar cells, NASA will be able to maximize the Roman Space Telescope’s power generation, allowing greater data gathering capability while operating in a unique mission environment at the L2 Lagrange point,” said Tony Mueller, president of Spectrolab.
With a launch date planned no later than May 2027, NASA’s Roman Space Telescope will investigate the force behind the universe’s expansion and search for planets beyond our solar system.