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2 November 2016

Alta to provide solar cells for C-Astral's long-endurance UAVs

Alta Devices of Sunnyvale, CA, USA (a Hanergy company) says that its record-setting solar technology is to be used to significantly extend the endurance for the most sophisticated next-generation unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of C-Astral Aerospace of Ajdovscina, Slovenia.

Alta designs and manufactures what is claimed to be the most efficient, thinnest, flexible solar technology in the world. In April, it announced another record of 31.6% solar efficiency for its newest cells.

Through the addition of Alta's solar technology, C-Astral's latest Bramor ppX-LRS (long-range solar) system can fly at least 2 hours longer, enabling highly efficient and precise global surveying and sensing capabilities in remote and urban areas.

One example application is mapping and surveying of long stretches of road from the sky — finishing the project in only a few days without disrupting traffic; if done from the ground, this kind of work would take 2-3 months of road closures. The beyond-line-of-sight capability of the UAV, together with its advanced gas detection and short-wave infrared (SWIR) sensors is also suited to pipeline monitoring, replacing manned aircraft systems and helicopters at a fraction of the cost. Alternatively, these aircraft can dramatically accelerate and reduce the cost of surveying major railway lines and power line infrastructure.

"From the time of our founding, we have known that solar technology is useful for extending flight times and have continuously pursued it," says C-Astral co-founder Marko Peljhan. "Alta's solar technology is the only mature option on the market that allows us to achieve extended flight times without compromising our high-performance aircraft design," he comments.

"There are very few companies with the deep expertise required to develop this type of aircraft," comments Alta Devices' chief marketing officer Rich Kapusta about C-Astral.

The new Bramor ppX airframe is made of Kevlar/Carbon/Vectran composite materials that provide a high level of survivability. Compared with a standard Bramor, the Alta-enhanced LRS version adds less than two ounces of weight, while increasing flight time to about 5.5 hours. This new system provides an all-electric, high productivity UAV for global surveying and remote sensing in remote areas (where access to fuel is an issue) and in urban areas (where pollution and noise must be contained). The Bramor ppX has an operational ceiling of 14,000 feet and is capable of operating in winds of up to 25 knots. Embedded autonomous flight procedures include an array of fail-safe options based on man-rated standards. It is equipped with a high-rate GNSS receiver and IMU precision data-logging electronics.

See related items:

Alta Devices sets 31.6% one-sun solar cell efficiency record

Hanergy to build 10MW plant in Wuhan for Alta's flexible GaAs solar cells

Alta Devices cooperating with Airware to integrate solar power into small UAVs

Alta Devices enables UAVs

Hanergy completes acquisition of GaAs thin-film PV firm Alta Devices

Tags: Alta Devices GaAs PV Hanergy

Visit: www.altadevices.com

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