From businesses to homes, solar panel technology is used in numerous settings and industries. Beyond our planet, NASA uses solar panels on its satellites. These solar panels are produced by the same manufacturers that we at Semper Solaris use for our solar panel installations!
Semper Solaris installs the finest solar panels on all of our installations
We’re proud to be the recipient of multiple national solar power dealer awards. We choose only the best solar panels for good reason. If you’ve ever worried about the durability, efficiency, and effectiveness of solar panels, then you haven’t seen them in action.
NASA’s Uses for Solar Panels
- NASA has used solar panels to explore the ice caps of Greenland, test the solar power capabilities of unmanned vehicles (crafted to explore distant planets like Mars), and create new possibilities for solar-powered aircraft.
- NASA used solar panels for a project in May 2013, GROVER (Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research). Also known as the “Greenland Rover,” GROVER was operated entirely by solar energy. It received GPS coordinates from operators in Idaho, about 3,000 miles away from its location at the highest point of Greenland. Roughly 800 pounds, it was equipped with American-designed solar panels.
GROVER was used to gather data in environments that would have been difficult or impossible for humans to work in. It used advanced radar technology to scan the depths of the ice and gather information. In the ice caps of Greenland, GROVER’s solar panels endured 30 mph winds and frigid temperatures as low as -22°F. Yet, for its five-week trial run, GROVER gathered its data, sustained by the ever-durable American-designed solar panels.
- GROVER wasn’t the only time NASA relied on American-designed solar panels. Not surprisingly, NASA experimented with drones (then called “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” or UAVs) long before they became available and popular in today’s market. One of these UAVs was named the Pathfinder Plus, and it was remotely piloted and powered by American-designed solar cells. In 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record: 80,201 feet. Many commercial airlines don’t fly far above 36,000 feet, which is less than half of the record for this unmanned aircraft!
- Another project culminated in 1999 when NASA worked together with Helios, a second-generation high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) project, using similar unmanned vehicles. The panels were re-engineered into customized solar cells for Helios in order to create solar cells that would be able to survive the high air pressure of high altitudes and still create enough energy. These cells were also engineered to be as light as possible and to capture any and all scraps of light, even specifically light reflected off of clouds. In 2001, these new cells were efficient enough to enable Helios to set a new world record of over 96,000 feet.
Efficient, American-Designed Solar Panels
If solar panels designed in the US are the best option for NASA, they can be the best for your home or business. They’re efficient enough to capture light that reflects off of clouds and durable enough to withstand Greenland’s ice caps. Chances are, they’ll last long and work well on any sunny California rooftop!