The Space Power Laboratory™

Space Power Awards Program

The Space Power Laboratory (SPL) was founded in 2013 as a virtual entity to increase the understanding of the field of space power and support the development of new technologies to meet the challenges of the growing commercial space sector. The SPL is now a cooperative project supported by Star Sailor Power, LLC. and Aerospace Research Systems, LLC. (ARS).

It is SPL’s mission to advance space power technologies including novel and exotic solar, advanced generation including combined heat-power cycle and mechanical power storage technologies. As part of our mission, we are supporting the development of future practitioners and the recognition of space power as a primary field in space technology.


The field of space power and spacecraft electrical power subsystem (EPS) design is slowly evolving as new technologies come to the foray of space technology. Extraordinary improvements in battery technology have provided increasingly longer mission durations. However, smaller satellites, such as cube sats suffer significant limitations due to mass and volume limitations. New concepts from exotic refueling networks to multifunctional structures offer reduction in mass and energy cost while increasing capabilities within the small space satellite sector.

Space Power Awards Program Eligibility

Every two years the Space Power Laboratory (SPL) will offer awards to the most creative students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. The SPL STEM Awards program is being extended to select high schools and junior colleges as well as continuing to acknowledge the creativity of upper level undergraduate students.

Primary areas of interest

The issues concerning the degradation and failure of electrical power subsystem (EPS) on orbit are well known. Currently efforts focusing on better testing and burn-in procedures coupled with redundancies are the primary methods used to mitigate and reduce failures. The Space Power Laboratory through the Space Power Awards Program is attempting to challenge a new generation of creative and innovative technologists to think outside the box and provide solutions to current and future space power requirements.

Current topics

- Battery stack design, including safety and redundancy,
- Power distribution and controls,
- PV and thermal solar,
- "Lightweighting" power storage,
- EPS integration and reliability models for Cube Sats.

The ultimate goal of this program is to expand the understanding of space power as a systems discipline and increase recognition of space power in student populations. Papers and competition results will be shared with the student’s institution and published in the ARS On-Line Space Studies Journal. Students and their faculty advisors are also encouraged to submit their work to professional journal publications.

Requirements: Will be published Fall 2019

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