AeroVironment and Alta Devices Partner on Solar Powered Unmanned Systems

Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Aerovironment has teamed up with Alta Devices
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Aerovironment has teamed up with Alta Devices

AeroVironment just announced they’ve teamed up with Alta Devices Devices to provide flexible, portable power for AeroVironment’s Solar-Powered Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft.  Alta Devices delivers an efficient, thin and flexible mobile power technology, which extends the energy source of a system, and completely cuts the traditional power cord.

AeroVironment, a major energy solutions provider that designs, develops, produces, operates electric transportation solutions, as well as supports an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).  Making this announcement at the annual Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) conference in Washington DC, the highlights include:
· 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

AeroVironment announced today that a recent outdoor test flight of a solar-powered prototype version of the company’s Puma AE small unmanned aircraft system (UAS), operating with the company’s newest long-endurance battery, lasted 9 hours, 11 minutes.  This is significantly longer than the flight endurance of most small UAS used in the field today.  The best part of it is that the solution can be completely integrated into the final system, such as Solar-Powered Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft.

Alta Devices, a Sunnyvale, California, a company that provides flexible, portable power that can be embedded into any other material, in the development of the solar Puma AE.

According to Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): “This is a critical milestone with far-reaching implications for the many ways small UAS can benefit military, public safety and commercial customers. The solar Puma AE is the latest example of AeroVironment’s longstanding commitment to deliver important, innovative solutions that meet our customers’ needs.

“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.
Past solar solutions that power small UAS are either too heavy or do not produce enough power for long-range flight, ultimately even both.  Minson believes 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.”

This is good news for electric planes that have been receiving a lot of news lately.  Click here ) for the press release.

Nicolas Zart
Born and raised around classic cars, it wasn't until Nicolas drove an AC Proulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Eager to spread the news about those amazing full torque electric vehicles, he started writing about this amazing technology and its social impacts in 2007. Today, Nicolas covers renewable energy, test drives cars, does podcasts and films. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he made in those industries. His articles are also published on Teslrati, CleanTechnica, the Beverly Hills Car Club and Medium. "There are more solutions than obstacles." Nicolas Zart