Lightweight, Flexible Solar Power Solutions for UAVs

Alta Devices

Alta Devices is a developer of solar cell technologies, creating extremely thin and lightweight high-efficiency devices that can be integrated directly into a wide variety of materials.

Our technology is ideal for a wide range of applications, from sensor installation in the most remote of environments to the power requirements of high-endurance small unmanned aerial vehicles.

Solar Power for Unmanned Systems Applications

Our mobile power technology significantly extends the battery life of any application and in many cases can completely eliminate the need to recharge from a power grid. This makes it ideal for unmanned systems, especially aerial vehicles that require power for long endurance missions without returning to ground.

Solar Powered UAV

Our solar cells and modules boast world-record efficiencies and can even be integrated into curved and limited-area surfaces.

Flexible Solar Panels for UAVs

The technology is so thin and lightweight that these additions do not significantly impact the weight or aerodynamics of the aircraft.

Low temperature coefficients and high sensitivity to low light mean that an unmanned aerial system can be provided with real-world performance that is unsurpassed by any other technology.

Example Wing Layouts

Aircraft Wing Solar Panels

Shaded area shows region covered by solar cells. Weight is for unencapsulated solar product.

Solar Puma UAS

Test flight AeroVironment Puma AE UAS with Solar Wings:

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Revolutionary Solar Power Technology

Flexible Solar PanelWith our proprietary revolutionary technologies, Alta Devices manufactures the world’s thinnest and highest-efficiency solar cells using Gallium Arsenide. Our highly efficient processes have resulted in a significant reduction in cost and manufacturing time compared to traditional technologies.

Historically, photovoltaic technology has been divided into two types: rigid wafer-based solar cells that are bulky and brittle, and thin films that are lighter and more flexible but lower-performance. Our recent advances in Gallium Arsenide-based (GaAs) technology have resulted in a combination of the advantages of both: a lightweight, thin and flexible cell that not only breaks efficiency records but can also be manufactured at a fraction of the cost of previous GaAs-based technologies.

UAV Solar Panel Performance

Our solar cells have been independently verified by NREL as world record holders for both single and dual junction cell efficiencies – 28.8% and 30.8% respectively.

Alta Devices’ technology also excels under real-world operating conditions, generating electricity under a broad range of temperature and cloud-cover conditions and at all times of the day from dawn until dusk. Practically speaking, this means that our devices produce between two to four times more power per unit area and unit weight than all competing technologies.

Please watch the videos below for more information on our innovative technology and manufacturing processes.

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