DENVER, Colorado – Jan. 31, 2017 – Bye Aerospace announced an important engineering, development and production collaboration with SolAero Technologies Corp. to put SolAero’s solar cell technology on Bye’s solar-electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), called “StratoAirNet.”
The StratoAirNet family of UAVs is intended to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to support commercial and government security requirements. The initial medium-altitude StratoAirNet 15 proof of concept prototype is nearing completion and undergoing final assembly. The solar cell preliminary design review was recently completed with SolAero engineers. Preliminary flight tests were then conducted on a smaller scale test wing. Following measurements and fit checks, whole wing solar cell tests will commence on the 15 meter wing span StratoAirNet prototype.
Since 2001, SolAero products have powered 170 successful space missions with zero on-orbit failures. SolAero holds the world record efficiency in space solar cells with 50+ patents and disclosures for their 33.0% efficient IMM technology. This solar cell technology achieves the highest commercially available performance level, offering a density exceeding 350 watts per square meter under standard conditions, increasing further under high-altitude, low-temperature conditions.
“SolAero is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced space solar power solutions,” said George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace. “The efficiencies of their solar cells will make the benefits of StratoAirNet even more compelling, allowing the airplane to fly at higher altitudes with almost unlimited flight endurance. We appreciate SolAero’s collaboration with our team and look forward to working together to demonstrate a remarkable pseudo-satellite aircraft capability that many have said is unachievable.”
“We are very excited about our partnership with Bye Aerospace and the future opportunities of the solar-powered StratoAirNet family of UAVs,” said Brad Clevenger, CEO of SolAero Technologies. “The combination of our heritage high-efficiency solar cell technology and integration expertise with the wide range of capabilities of the StratoAirNet UAV family will help to usher in a new era of middle and high altitude commercial and defense applications.”
Bye said potential commercial mission applications for StratoAirNet include communications relay, internet, mapping, search and rescue, firefighting command and control, anti-poaching monitoring, damage assessment, severe weather tracking, agriculture monitoring (“precision ag”), mineral source surveying, spill detection and infrastructure quality assessment.
About SolAero Technologies Corp.
SolAero Technologies Corp. is a leading provider of solar cells and solar panels to satellite and spacecraft OEMs. The business was founded in 1998 and is one of the world’s leading providers of space solar power solutions. SolAero is headquartered in Albuquerque, NM and employs approximately 280 people. For further information about SolAero, visit http://www.solaerotech.com.