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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EMCORE Corporation (Nasdaq:EMKR), a leading provider of compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the fiber optic and solar power markets, announced today that it has been awarded a contract by ATK (NYSE:ATK) to design and manufacture solar panels for NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) planned for launch in 2015.
Solar panels populated with EMCORE's most advanced ZTJ triple-junction solar cells will power a satellite that will carry the GPIM payload. ATK will integrate EMCORE's solar panels into its heritage-designed solar arrays for final flight configuration for the GPIM satellite.
The GPIM project will demonstrate the practical capabilities of AF-M315E, a high-performance green alternative to hydrazine that has traditionally been used to fuel many spacecraft. This innovative, low-toxicity propellant is expected to improve overall vehicle performance. It boasts a higher density than hydrazine, meaning that more can be stored in containers of the same volume, and it delivers a greater thrust per given quantity of fuel.
GPIM is supported by co-investigators including NASA's Glenn Research Center and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio; Aerojet Corporation, a GenCorp company in Washington; NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida; and the U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.
"ATK is pleased to be providing the solar arrays for the GPIM project to Ball Aerospace, and we look forward to another successful collaboration with EMCORE in support of this innovative program," said Dave Messner, General Manager of ATK Space Systems in Goleta, Calif.
"EMCORE is extremely pleased and honored to receive this program award from ATK," said Brad Clevenger, Ph.D., General Manager of EMCORE's Photovoltaics Division. "EMCORE has partnered with ATK on many successful missions, and we greatly value our long-standing business relationship. We look forward to supporting ATK on the Green Propellant Infusion Mission."