AeroVironment Solar-Powered Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft Achieves Continuous Flight for More Than Nine Hours
- Groundbreaking development in the evolution of small unmanned aircraft systems; advanced solar cells increase hand-launched Puma AE™ endurance by 350 percent
- Far-reaching implications for small UAS utility in military, public safety and commercial uses
- Alta Devices cutting-edge mobile power technology produces ample power with minimal added weight
"This is a critical milestone with far-reaching implications for the
many ways small UAS can benefit military, public safety and commercial
"Our integration of this cutting-edge technology dramatically increases Puma's current flight endurance using a clean, renewable power source," Minson added. "This development can give Puma AE customers significantly increased capabilities that approach those of the next class of UAS at a much lower acquisition and operating cost, and with much greater operational flexibility." AeroVironment's new long endurance battery extends Puma AE's non-solar endurance to more than three hours. This means small UAS could be used for longer missions over greater distances than previously possible.
Minson added that past solar solutions for powering small UAS were either too heavy or did not produce enough power for long-range flight — or both. "However," he said, "the solar Puma AE technology can produce enough power, while adding negligible weight, so that endurance is no longer an issue for most customer missions."
Using a proprietary and highly differentiated technology, Alta Devices
manufactures the world's thinnest and highest efficiency solar cells
using Gallium Arsenide. This technology significantly extends the
battery life of any application, in many cases eliminating the need to
recharge from the grid because it converts more light into electricity.
Solar material like that used in the development of the solar Puma AE
incorporates a thin, mobile power technology on a flexible substrate
that has been independently certified by the
Puma AE is a flexible, efficient and rugged hand-launched workhorse for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). This solar-power enhancement makes it even more indispensable for U.S. and allied military, as well as for domestic public safety applications, such as firefighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, oil and gas field monitoring, and other commercial needs.
The solar Puma AE configuration currently is in the research and development phase. A production version is planned for early 2014.
The 13-pound Puma AE is fully waterproof, man-portable and can be assembled in minutes, hand-launched, operated and recovered on sea or land by a team of two people. It requires no infrastructure, such as runways, launching pads or recovery devices. In addition, the system is quiet and operates autonomously, providing persistent observation data.
About AeroVironment's Family of Small UAS
Wasp AE™, RQ-20A
Puma™ and Shrike
VTOL™ comprise AeroVironment's Family of Small Unmanned Aircraft
Systems. Operating with a common
ground control system (GCS), this Family of Systems provides
increased capability to the warfighter that can give ground commanders
the option of selecting the appropriate aircraft based on the type of
mission to be performed. This increased capability has the potential to
provide significant force protection and force multiplication benefits
to small tactical units and security personnel.
The Qube™ small UAS is tailored to search and rescue, first response, law enforcement and other public safety missions. Small enough to fit easily in the trunk of a car, the Qube system can be unpacked, assembled and ready for flight in less than five minutes, giving the operator a rapidly deployable eye in the sky at a fraction of the cost of manned aircraft and large unmanned aircraft.
About Alta Devices
Alta Devices is (EM)POWERING THE UNPLUGGED WORLD™ by delivering the
world's most efficient, thin and flexible mobile power technology.
Converting light into electricity, Alta's technology extends the energy
source of a system, and in many cases, completely cuts the traditional
power cord. The solution can be completely integrated into the final
system, and is ideal for use in unmanned systems, consumer electronics,
automotive, remote exploration, or anywhere size, weight, and mobility
matter. Alta Devices holds world records for energy conversion
efficiency, and has received funding from,
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Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current
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