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IQE

14 April 2015

Ascent Solar supplying panels for Silent Falcon's UAV production

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc of Thornton, CO, USA has begun supplying Silent Falcon UAS Technologies (SFUAS) of Albuquerque, NM, USA with lightweight, flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules for the wings of its Silent Falcon unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as it prepares for production runs to fill its first commercial orders. "Silent Falcon is the first solar-electric aircraft to enter commercial production," says SFUAS' president John Brown.

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 Inc of Englewood, near Denver, CO (which was founded in 2007 to apply clean-energy solutions to aircraft designs for the general aviation and defense markets) created what is now SFUAS, capitalizing 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 30lb Silent Falcon UAS all-day flight endurance.

"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," says Ascent Solar's chief technology officer Joe Armstrong. "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."

In 2012, SFUAS selected Ascent Solar to be a development partner and provide the solar cells on the Silent Falcon wings. The flexible PV technology is covered by many patents and is said to represent the only flexible CIGS technology in production using monolithic integration (enabling greater design flexibility and inherent durability).

"Customer flight demonstrations are underway," says George Bye, chairman of Silent Falcon UAS and CEO of Bye Aerospace. "Silent Falcon UAS has a large and growing military and international commercial market," he believes. "Sales exceeding several hundred units per year are possible."

See related items:

Ascent Solar's CIGS PV modules take flight on Silent Falcon UAV

CIGS PV firm Ascent Solar named Bye Aerospace development partner

Ascent's CIGS PV modules to be designed into development of hybrid UAV

CIGS PV maker Ascent signs memorandum of understanding with Bye Aerospace

Tags: Ascent Solar CIGS

Visit: www.AscentSolar.com

Visit: www.SilentFalconUAS.com

Visit: www.ByeAerospace.com

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