Alta Devices has a brand new place in the solar after garnering a contract from the Naval Research Laboratory for delivering lightweight photo voltaic drone know-how.
Alta’s Hybrid Tiger program will combine analysis right into a single drone system designed for lengthy vary endurance. The program deploys high-efficiency versatile photo voltaic cells, a hydrogen gasoline cell, and energy-aware steering algorithms and is sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy and the U. S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office.
“Widespread use of small UAVs in both the military and industry has been limited to-date by endurance. The Hybrid Tiger will demonstrate that very long endurance flights, with sophisticated telemetry and capabilities, can be achieved with the inclusion of solar arrays,” mentioned Jian Ding, Alta Devices CEO. “This project will open the door for many new solar powered UAV applications, and we look forward to achieving next generation breakthroughs via this cooperative effort.”
The Tiger drone shall be featured in a multi-daily demonstration at greater latitudes to “highlight how extreme endurance UAV flight can be achieved using hybridization of solar photovoltaics, a hydrogen fuel cell, and autonomous soaring algorithms, regardless of latitude or time of year.”
Ion Tiger’s electrical gasoline cell propulsion system has the low noise and low signature of a battery-powered UAV, whereas benefiting from hydrogen, a high-energy gasoline. The 550-W (zero.75-horsepower) gasoline cell has about 4 occasions the effectivity of a comparable inside combustion engine.
The Ion Tiger flew for 26 hours in November 2009 whereas carrying a 5-pound payload utilizing hydrogen compressed to 5000-psi in a carbon/aluminum stress vessel. In May 2013, the identical researchers on the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory flew their gasoline cell powered Ion Tiger UAV for 48-hours and 1 minute on April 16-18 through the use of liquid hydrogen gasoline in a brand new, NRL-developed, cryogenic gasoline storage tank and supply system.