DII Announce ETURNAS Long-Endurance Solar Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

By Caroline Rees / 28 Jun 2013
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Design Intelligence Incorporated, LLC (DII) and MicroLink Devices, Inc. (MLD) have announced the development of a new solar-optimized unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called ETURNAS.

The ETURNAS UAV weighs less than nine pounds and uses a reconfigurable solar wing design that allows users to adjust the configuration of the UAV for specific applications such as long-loiter (slow-speed) or faster “dash” configurations. When operated in good sun and weather conditions, the ETURNAS UAV has more than three times the endurance of traditional battery-powered UAVs.

The ETURNAS UAV can accommodate a variety of modular payloads such as sensors, cameras, and detectors. The ETURNAS UAV can be transported by a single person, quickly assembled and disassembled, and stored in a small volume.

DII is based in Oklahoma with headquarters in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin stated: “The state of Oklahoma is a national leader in the advancement of UAV technology with a growing infrastructure that includes public-private partnerships, strong R&D programs at state universities and leading test and evaluation facilities. It’s no surprise an Oklahoma-based company would come to market with a revolutionary new design for a solar-powered UAV. The great work of Design Intelligence Incorporated is the latest evidence that Oklahoma is the go-to place for the growing UAV industry.”

The ETURNAS UAV uses advanced, flexible, high-efficiency solar cell technology developed by MLD. The lightweight, flexible solar cells, which have the efficiency of space-grade solar cells at a fraction of the weight, are mounted in the wings of the ETURNAS UAV adding only a small amount to the mass of the UAV, while providing substantial electrical power. MLD’s solar cell technology has been demonstrated on multiple aerospace and terrestrial applications and has been tested on the International Space Station (ISS).

The ETURNAS UAV uses advanced power management technology and innovative UAV designs that have been in development by DII since 2007. DII and MLD have collaborated on several projects, including solar wing upgrades for existing small UAVs for the U.S. Department of Defense. James Grimsley, DII President, said, “The previous and on-going collaborative efforts between DII and MLD have given our companies the technical advantage, experience and background along with the opportunity to develop truly innovative solar UAV technology concepts. The development of the ETURNAS UAV is result of the demonstrated experience and capabilities of both of our companies.”

Dr. Noren Pan, President of MLD, said, “MLD is extremely proud that DII has chosen our solar cells for the ETURNAS UAV; it is a testament to the skill and dedication of our scientists and engineers. We are providing space solar cell technology to the UAV market. I believe there is no other solar cell technology that can provide the same combination of efficiency, weight, and cost”.

The ETURNAS UAV will be shown at AUVSI North America 2013 in Washington, D.C. in mid-August 2013 and more information is available at www.auvsishow.org.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact
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