Ascent Solar supplies CIGS panels for Silent Falcon
Ascent Solar Technologies Inc (ASTI), working closely with Silent Falcon UAS Technologies (SFUAS), has begun supplying flexible CIGS PV for the solar wings of its vehicles as SFUAS is preparing for the production runs to fill its first commercial orders of the Silent Falcon vehicle.
The patent-pending Silent Falcon is a solar-electric, all composite, modular small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) with an interchangeable wing configuration designed for commercial, public safety and defense applications.
In 2010, Bye Aerospace created what is now SFUAS, capitalising the company with a prototype electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and initial design work on solar electric hybrid propulsion. The combination of efficient aerodynamic design, lightweight composite construction and advanced solar energy collection gives the 30 lb. Silent Falcon UAS remarkable all day flight endurance.
"Silent Falcon is the first solar-electric aircraft to enter commercial production. Its solar-electric design gives it unmatched performance and value in its class. Silent Falcon is taking and filling its initial customer orders," said John Brown, President of SFUAS.
"We are extremely pleased with the Silent Falcon aircraft's capability," said Joe Armstrong, CTO of Ascent Solar. "Its solar wings, based on our in-production, flexible, monolithically integrated CIGS photovoltaic product, are performing extremely well, giving the propulsion system a significant source of lightweight electric energy and enabling the aircraft's unprecedented endurance. Working closely with Silent Falcon, we have demonstrated a product specific to their needs and specifications, as well as assisting them in related power management technologies. We are honored to be the supplier chosen for the production vehicles."
In 2012 SFUAS selected ASTI to be a development partner and provide the solar cells on the Silent Falcon wings. The ASTI flexible PV technology is covered by numerous patents and represents the only flexible CIGS technology in production using monolithic integration for greater design flexibility and inherent durability.
"Customer flight demonstrations are underway today. We believe Silent Falcon UAS has a large and growing military and international commercial market. Sales exceeding several hundred units per year are possible. Customers now have access to the remarkable capability of the Silent Falcon UAS for the first time," said George Bye, Chairman of Silent Falcon UAS and CEO of Bye Aerospace.