Ascent Solar Technologies Inc said Wednesday it has agreed to provide

its thin-film photovoltaic modules for an energy efficient unmanned

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aerial vehicle being developed by Bye Aerospace.

The solar firm, based in Thornburg, Colorado, said in a statement

today that Bye Aerospace has no contract for the airplane but that

initial meetings are being conducted with U.S. government entities,

according to CNET.

The hybrid un-crewed aircraft called the Silent Sentinel,

utilizes stored electric power, thin film solar photovoltaics, and

other technologies to enhance its endurance, quiet operations and low

emissions. Bye Aerospace, the aircraft designer, will couple it with a

Williams International FJ33 turbofan engine.

The H-UAV will be designed primarily for military use including

border patrol, search and rescue, visual and thermal reconnaissance,

and forward air control. However it has potential civil applications

such as traffic control, pipeline and power line inspection, aerial law

enforcement, forest fire detection and aerial photography, the

companies said in a statement.

This is not the first time solar technology has been employed

with these types of projects. British defense contractor Qinetiq and

the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) office of the

U.S. Department of Defense, have also utilized solar panels in unmanned

aircraft.

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