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16 May 2018

NRL chooses Alta Devices’ flexible solar cells for Hybrid Tiger UAV

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Alta Devices of Sunnyvale, CA, USA says that the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) will use its flexible, lightweight gallium arsenide (GaAs) solar technology to help power the Hybrid Tiger UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) project, which is designed to create a Group-2 UAV that will stay aloft for at least 3.5 days. Technologies developed for the project will be applicable to other unmanned vehicles.

Sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy and the US Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office, the Hybrid Tiger program integrates multiple technologies into a single UAV designed for long-range endurance. It will use high-efficiency flexible solar cells, a hydrogen fuel cell and energy-aware guidance algorithms.

The Hybrid Tiger UAV planned demonstration includes flights over multiple days, during the winter solstice and as far North as 50 degrees latitude to highlight how extreme endurance UAV flight can be achieved using hybridization of solar photovoltaics, a hydrogen fuel cell, and autonomous soaring algorithms, regardless of latitude or time of year. The aircraft will fly for multiple days without using traditional fuels. The multi-day endurance technology will enable applications such as low-altitude communications enablement, atmospheric research, and search & rescue missions, according to a fact sheet provided by NRL.

“Widespread use of small UAVs in both the military and industry has been limited to-date by endurance,” says Alta Devices’ CEO Jian Ding. “The Hybrid Tiger will demonstrate that very long-endurance flights, with sophisticated telemetry and capabilities, can be achieved with the inclusion of solar arrays,” he adds. “This project will open the door for many new solar powered UAV applications, and we look forward to achieving next-generation breakthroughs via this cooperative effort.”

Tags: Alta Devices GaAs PV Hanergy NRL

Visit: www.nrl.navy.mil

Visit: www.altadevices.com

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