SolAero Technologies has delivered its lightweight solar cell technology to the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to power its Solar-Soaring UAV demonstrator, the company announced on 21 March.
SolAero’s UAV-TJ high efficiency solar cells convert solar radiation directly into electricity. As part of UAVs designed for long range flights, the cells will provide power for extended duration flight, to charge the vehicles’ batteries for overnight flight and to power onboard payloads.
The solar cells, which will generate approximately 40W of power for the multi-flight demonstration, have been integrated into flexible sheets that will be carried on the UAV’s wing tips.
Two additional solar sheets that will generate ~100W were also delivered for co-cured integration by NRL into the carbon fiber wings of other demonstrator vehicles.