Technology Development Board-Department of Science & Technology empowers Indigenous Space Innovation: Funding Dhruva Space’s Solar Array Project”

As a significant step towards indigenization in the space sector and aligning with its mission of advancing indigenous capabilities, The Technology Development Board (TDB) is proud to announce its financial support for the project titled “Space Grade Solar Array Fabrication and Test Facility” by M/s Dhruva Space Private Limited, Hyderabad.

The Technology Development Board is the first organization of its kind within the Indian Government framework with the sole objective of translating the fruits of indigenous research into commercial products or services. It aims at accelerating the development and commercialisation of indigenous technology or adapting imported technology to wider domestic application. The board provides financial assistance in the form of Equity, Soft loans, or Grants.

And, with regards to this start-up, TDB has sanctioned financial assistance, thereby demonstrating its confidence in the project’s potential to drive technological advancements in the space industry.

With TDB’s backing, Dhruva Space is undertaking an ambitious initiative to develop and commercialize space-grade solar array fabrication and testing processes tailored for spacecraft applications.

The primary objective of this project is to pioneer technological innovations in solar panel manufacturing to meet the rigorous demands of on-orbit usage.

The project entails several key innovations, including the adoption of new materials like carbon fiber and resins for substrate-side IP to enhance performance and durability.

It also focuses on process innovations in solar cell assembly (SCA) through novel stringing and bonding techniques.

Dhruva Space aims to manufacture high-efficiency solar panels using triple-junction GaAs technology, targeting an efficiency of up to 30%.

Additionally, a specialized test facility will be developed to ensure compliance and certification of space-grade solar arrays.

Furthermore, the project encompasses a series of space-qualified processes, including substrate fabrication, precise cell welding, secure cell bonding, integration of electrical harnesses, and comprehensive testing and evaluation.

Mechanical tests will cover vibration, shock, and full-panel assessments, while electrical evaluations will utilize a Large Area Pulsed Sun Simulator for thorough testing.

Environmental testing will include thermo-vacuum chamber conditions and acoustic testing, with zero-gravity (Zero G) deployment simulations to assess performance in space environments.

Sh. Rajesh Kumar Pathak, Secretary, Technology Development Board, expressed enthusiasm about the initiative, stating, “We are excited to support M/s Dhruva Space in their endeavor to develop cutting-edge space-grade solar array technologies.

This project perfectly aligns with TDB’s mission to promote indigenous innovation and strengthen India’s capabilities in domestic production, furthering India’s commitment to becoming a global hub for advanced and cost-effective space technologies.”

Shri Sanjay Nekkanti, CEO, Dhruva Space, said, “One of the crucial product offerings at Dhruva Space is the end-to-end design, engineering, assembly, integration, and testing of spacecraft solar arrays for manned and unmanned space programs.

One of our core capabilities has been to supply space power solutions to large satellites as well, and we are thankful to the Technology Development Board, Department of Science & Technology, for enabling us to scale these capabilities where we have seen traction not just in India but also overseas.”