New solar-powered UAS in development
The system is based on Bye Aerospace's StratoAirNet solar-electric UAS powered by SolAero's high-efficiency solar cells and flexible solar modules.
The first proof of concept prototype, called the StratoAirNet 15, is currently undergoing final assembly following a successful preliminary design review process. Flight testing on a small-scale wing powered by SolAero solar cells has already been carried out, and additional testing will soon commence on the 15-meter wing span prototype following further measurements and fit checks.
The companies hope to develop a family of StratoAirNet UAS for persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in support of commercial and government security requirements. Potential commercial applications could include communications relay, internet service, mapping, search and rescue, firefighting command and control, anti-poaching monitoring, damage assessment, severe weather tracking, agriculture monitoring and infrastructure inspection.
SolAero’s Inverted Metamorphic space solar cells offer very high power density of more than 350W/m2.
Brad Clevenger, CEO of SolAero Technologies, said: ‘We are very excited about our partnership with Bye Aerospace and the future opportunities of the solar-powered StratoAirNet family of UAVs.
‘The combination of our advanced solar cell technology and integration expertise with the wide range of capabilities of the StratoAirNet UAV family will help usher in a new era of long endurance middle and high altitude commercial and defence UAVs.’
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