They Are Developing Domestic Solar Panels for Satellites

The center of the project, which continues to work in cooperation between the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) and İstanbul Technical University (ITU), where multifunctional, domestic solar panels for Nano and Micro Satellites are developed, opened its doors to journalists. TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle, who examined the works on site, said, "As TİM, we contribute to the vision expressed by our President within the scope of the "National Space Program". We will carry our flag that suits the skies best to the places it deserves, our feet will be on earth and our eyes will be in space".

ITU Space Systems Design and Test Laboratory (USTTL), where studies are carried out on the 'Multifunctional Solar Panel R&D Project in Nano, Micro and Cube Satellites,' implemented as part of the cooperation of the Turkish Exporters Assembly and İstanbul Technical University, opened its doors to journalists. The latest status and roadmap of the project, which develops multifunctional, domestic solar panels for satellites, and will contribute to Turkey's 'National Space Program' targets, was shared by USTTL Coordinator Prof. Dr. Alim Rüstem Aslan. TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle, ITU Rector Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu, TİM Vice-Chairman Başaran Bayrak, also students from İnovaTİM who were educated in various schools involved in the project participated in the program.

TİM Chairman Gülle and Prof. Dr. Koyuncu visited ITU USTTL Clean Room, where the works continued at full speed and examined the works on site. Prof. Dr. Alim Rüstem Aslan stated that multifunctional, domestic solar panels have been developed for Nano and Micro Satellites, which are quite widespread in the world and cost very low. The image of the 'Turkish Flag in Space' was projected in the laboratory was also appreciated by the participants.


Pointing out that the way of sustainable growth and export is through value-added exports, R&D, and innovation, TİM Chairman Gülle said, "We believe that university-industry cooperation will play an important role in ensuring that scientific resources in universities are transferred to the industry and transformed into economic value. As TİM, we contribute to the vision expressed by our President within the scope of the "National Space Program". We will carry our flag that suits the skies best to the places it deserves, our feet will be on earth and our eyes will be in space. Our country's exports are growing strongly in terms of value. We know that this road is through value-added and high-tech exports. In 2020, the share of high-tech products in manufacturing industry exports stood at 3.5 percent. First of all, we should aim for 5 percent, so that we can reach the figures of 10 by combining the export of high-tech products, which we currently provide in the air with UAVs and rockets, with space technology. We are talking about technology with an export value of almost a million dollars. If we say that our average exports are at 1.5, we underline how important the event is. Since the production of high-tech products with domestic and national facilities will reduce imports and increase exports, it will also play a decisive role in closing the foreign trade deficit by creating a multiplier effect on the ratio of exports to imports. When the project is finalized, hopefully, the development of solar panels will be achieved with low cost and innovative techniques. Within the scope of the project, more than 100 İnovaTİM students will be involved in the project processes for two years, and will get the know-how."


Providing information about the cube satellite project "TİMSat", Gülle said, "We will launch our cube satellite project called "TİMSat", a new example of TİM leading the high value-added export target with exemplary technologies. We aim to launch the TİMSat cube satellite, which started in coordination with our İnovaTİM team and ITU Space Design and Test Laboratory, into space in 2023, the 100th year of our Republic. Within our laboratory, we firmly believe that solar panels will be exportable with the contribution of cube satellite development training and bilateral cooperations to be given to many countries abroad."


ITU Rector Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu said about the project developed in cooperation with TİM, "The project we carried out with TİM started about 3-4 months ago and will last for 1 year. The ability to obtain the energy of satellites in space from solar panels and to develop domestic and national solar panels is carried out in the laboratory of ITU Faculty of Aerospace Sciences."


Prof. Dr. Aslan gave the following information about the latest status of the project:

"We have our finances. The Turkish Exporters Assembly has invested the entire budget of the project. As ITU, we have certain infrastructures. Here, we supply several materials for the project, as well as systems. In this context, our laboratory skills will also improve. There are different techniques for how to develop these panels. Last month, for example, there was a new publication, and we reviewed it. Now we're doing this work. In addition, we carry out continuous meetings with institutions such as TUBITAK and we cooperate. Our work is progressing intensively and beautifully in this way."


Murat Han, who has been at İnovaTİM for 2 years and is the team captain, underlined that they have achieved great success in past projects, "Today's program was like pre-training. After that, we will cooperate with the students. The training will continue. We will be involved in the research project."

Melis Kaplan, a second-grade student at ITU, who has been in İnovaTİM for 1.5 years, said, "This is our second preliminary education in this process. After that, there will be more procurement phases, laboratory work with students. Our researches will continue. After one year, there will be an integration phase. This is our process in İnovaTİM," she said, adding that she was happy and excited to take part in the project.


Satellite projects in the category of "Cube Satellite" and "Small Satellite", which are seen as a very powerful tool for applied and scientific space exploration, are accepted all over the world. The pros of these projects are; costs are much lower, it is a very good method of training personnel and it offers the opportunity to realize even to countries with low space budgets.