Airware offers hardware, software and cloud services for the development and operation of commercial UAVs. Through the partnership, Alta Devices will be able to bring its AnyLight solar cell technology to a wide range of commercial vehicles and, in turn, dramatically increase flight endurance.
Alta Devices says it holds the world record for solar cell efficiency at 28.8% and has shown that through the integration of its thin and lightweight solar material onto the wings of a small UAV, flight endurance can be increased by more than four times.
On certain designs, a solar-enabled UAV can fly all day long under sunny conditions, without landing to swap or recharge batteries, Alta Devices explains.
“This fundamentally changes the utility of small unmanned systems in a number of end markets,” says Rich Kapusta, vice president of sales and marketing for Alta Devices. “For precision agriculture, search and rescue, or land surveying, UAVs need to fly longer and farther than today’s systems provide. The most effective way to increase endurance is by adding solar, and Airware and Alta Devices are making that possible.”