C-Astral Aerospace, a provider of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has signed an agreement with Alta Devices, a manufacturer of thin-film solar technology, under which Alta will provide its solar cells to help enhance the flight time for C-Atral’s newest UAV. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
C-Astral says it latest system, called the Bramor ppX-LRS (long range solar), can fly at least two hours longer with the addition of Alta’s solar technology – totaling about 5.5 hours. Alta Devices recently announced that it had achieved a world record of 31.6% solar efficiency with its newest cells.
According to C-Astral, the new Bramor enables precise global surveying and sensing capabilities in remote and urban areas. The beyond-line-of-sight capability of the UAV, together with its gas detection and short wave infrared sensors, is also suited for pipeline monitoring, the company adds.
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, according to C-Astral.
“From the time of our founding, we have known that solar technology is useful for extending flight times and have continuously pursued it,” said Marko Peljhan, C-Astral co-founder. “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.”