Quebec — 5N Plus says it played a key role in enabling the European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, Juice, mission, with high-end solar cell technology from AZUR SPACE Solar Power GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 5N Plus.
The mission to Jupiter presented a unique challenge.
The environment around Jupiter is characterized by low sunlight intensity and low ambient temperature (“LILT”), and harsh particle radiation, representing extremely demanding operating conditions for solar cells.
After extensive research and testing, the company says ESA’s engineers selected AZUR’s specific 3G28 state-of-the-art proprietary solar cell technology to cover Juice’s 85 sq. m. of solar arrays, the largest ever built for interplanetary spacecraft.
The specific 3G28 solar cells, laid down by Leonardo in Italy and integrated by Airbus Defence and Space in the Netherlands, were considered the best for their unique capacity to make solar power work in Jupiter’s dark and gloomy space.
Accordingly, NASA’s future Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter moon Europa also employs AZUR’s 3G28 solar cells.
“It continues to be a privilege for 5N Plus to work in partnership with the world’s leading space agencies, such as ESA and NASA, to help, quite literally, push the boundaries of solar-powered space missions to the benefit of humankind. We are extremely proud of the AZUR team for constantly innovating its solar cell technology and working in close partnership with our valued clients to help them achieve mission-critical projects,” said Gervais Jacques, President and CEO of 5N Plus.