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Published on May 28th, 2014 | by Glenn Meyers

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Solar-Powered Drones Use Ascent Solar’s Flexible Solar Modules

May 28th, 2014 by  

Editor’s Note: We’ve had our eye on Ascent Solar for a long time. Its flexible solar modules have been used by the Denver Broncos, on smartphones, on backpacks, on tents, and more. We also keep an eye on interesting stories about drones. Google has just bought a solar drone company, which we think is pretty cool; the UAE is expected to start using delivery drones within the year; and the army is of course into the surveillance drone game. Now we’ve got s story from Green Building Elements about solar-powered drones using Ascent Solar’s flexible solar modules. Have a look:

Silent-Falcon-White_Sands_Long_SF

Solar-powered drones are becoming more commonplace in the aviation industry. How they will all be used remains to be seen.

Colorado-based Ascent Solar Technologies and Silent Falcon UAS Technologies have announced the successful first flights of the production Silent Falcon Unmanned Aircraft Systems. These systems will be powered by Ascent Solar’s ultra-lightweight, flexible photovoltaic modules.

Silent Falcon UAS, with headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, jointly developed by SFUAS, Bye AEROSPACE and Ascent Solar, is a tactical drone that can be easily deployed,.

The patent-pending Silent Falcon is a solar/electric-powered, all composite and modular small Unmanned Aircraft System equipped with an interchangeable wing configuration designed for commercial, public safety and defense applications both domestically and internationally. The combination of efficient aerodynamic design, lightweight composite construction and Ascent’s monolithically integrated and ultra-lightweight thin film photovoltaic modules, enables the 25 lb. Silent Falcon™ UAS a remarkable 6 to 12 hour flight endurance.

In a press announcement, Ascent Solar CTO Joseph Armstrong said, “Overcoming technological challenges, our teams have demonstrated the ability to integrate our flexible photovoltaics with appropriate power management systems into a feature-rich small unmanned aircraft system enabling extended mission flight time and, as a result, enhanced mission flexibility. More importantly, the photovoltaic modules integrated into the wings represent a lightweight version of our production materials, and as such, are immediately available.”

SFUAS sales teams are presently targeting domestic, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region to test market response.

Source: Business Wire

Photo: Silent Falcon UAS Technologies 
 
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About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.



  • JamesWimberley

    This development also depends on continued progress in making electronics, for both controlling the drone and running its payload devices, lighter and more power-efficient. Better batteries extend their usability into more hours of the clock.

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