Ascent Solar Technologies Inc said Wednesday it has agreed to provide
its thin-film photovoltaic modules for an energy efficient unmanned
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