Bye Aerospace announced that SolAero solar cells were successfully installed and ground tested on both wings of the initial prototype for the advanced, medium-altitude, long-endurance solar-electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called “StratoAirNet” being developed by the company.
The StratoAirNet is a light-weight, carbon composite construction, aerodynamically efficient aircraft. The solar-electric UAV has a payload of up to 70 lbs. that provides substantial customer capability with multiple sensors at altitudes of up to 35,000 feet.
The initial StratoAirNet 15 prototype (with a 15-meter wing) prototype will be optionally-piloted to provide for rapid qualification of customer payloads without FAA airspace restrictions that typically slow UAV and payload development and deployment.
With a test pilot in the prototype aircraft, solar, battery and propulsion system maturity, preliminary flight performance evaluation and autoflight control optimization are accomplished at a faster pace, with greatly reduced risk.
George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace, expressed his gratitude and thanks to SolAero for their active participation in developing the versatile StratoAirNet UAV, ultimately targeted to achieve “atmospheric satellite” capability. “SolAero is a business and engineering partner in every sense of the word,” he said. “With the completion of ground tests for the solar cells on the wings, we can advance to the next stage of assembly and testing.”