SolAero Technologies Corp. recently announced a product development and manufacturing collaboration with Bye Aerospace to power Bye's StratoAirNet solar-electric unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with SolAero's solar cells and flexible solar modules.
The StratoAirNet UAVs will provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to support commercial and government security requirements. The initial medium-altitude StratoAirNet 15 proof of concept prototype is undergoing final assembly. Following the successful preliminary design review process, flight tests were conducted on a small-scale wing powered by SolAero solar cells. Following further measurements and fit checks, additional test flights will soon commence on the 15-meter wing span prototype.
Since 2001, SolAero products have reliably powered nearly 200 successful satellite missions in space. The solar cells on StratoAirNet will allow the airplane to fly at higher altitudes with almost unlimited flight endurance, said George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace.
Bye said potential commercial mission applications for StratoAirNet include communications relay, internet service, mapping, search and rescue, firefighting command and control, anti-poaching monitoring, damage assessment, severe weather tracking, agriculture monitoring, mineral source surveying, spill detection and infrastructure quality assessment.