October 21, 2013
Alta Devices: PV Ready to Power Small UAVs Alta Devices
CEO Christopher Norris says that thanks to powerful lightweight solar cells, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are now able to fly as long as the sun shines.
Norris noted that Alta’s flexible, multi-layer PV material, operating near 30 percent conversion efficiency, can generate roughly 1 watt per gram. That means a typical UAV with a 9-foot wingspan can generate 125 watts — enough power to sustain flight and keep an on-board power source fully charged. Gretchen West, executive vice president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) said, “Enabling all-day flight times for small UAVs will change the game for civil use and represents a significant market opportunity.”