Alta Devices Introduces New Solar Product to Enable Flying Cell Phone Towers

Record solar cell efficiency combined with specialized packaging and
integration creates first-ever dedicated solution designed to fly at
60,000 feet for years at a time

SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”” target=”_blank”gt;#Airshipslt;/agt;–Building on its long heritage of innovation, Alta
today announced a new solar solution that is designed to
meet the specific needs of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can
serve as platforms for cellular and IoT connectivity. By combining its
breakthrough solar cell technology with several new inventions, this
solution offers industry-leading features to maximize power, minimize
weight, and provide sufficient protection from the harsh environment
commonly found in the Earth’s stratosphere.

High altitude long endurance (HALE) UAVs that fly at stratospheric
levels (sometimes also referred to as high altitude pseudo satellites
(HAPS)), are an important new aircraft category and can include
airplanes, airships, and/or balloons that can fly at altitudes of 20
kilometers (60,000 feet) for extended periods of time. In addition to
being used for a variety of communications (such as cell phone
connectivity and others), these aircraft can be used for intelligence
surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), search and rescue, border patrol,
mapping, and many other applications. Solar power is critical for these
aircraft, particularly because the objective is to fly for years without

Flight at this altitude demands solar technology that is different from
the type used in terrestrial installations or in space. For example, at
60,000 feet, ultraviolet radiation from the sun is more intense than on
the earth’s surface. Unlike in space with zero gravity, the generation
of lift is important for stratospheric vehicles. In order to allow the
aircraft to carry a useful payload and enough batteries for night
flight, the solar technology used must be extremely light-weight. In
contrast to both terrestrial and space applications, at 60,000 feet,
mechanical stresses during flight can be very tough on the aircraft
surface and solar panels, so the solar material must be flexible and

Alta Devices new HALE solar product uses world-record efficiency single
junction gallium-arsenide solar cells, producing industry-leading
power-per-unit-area under high-altitude operating conditions. Alta has
worked closely with its HALE customers, leaders in aerospace innovation,
to solve critical challenges related to the mechanical and electrical
integration of this technology onto multiple aircraft platforms. The
company developed a special, lightweight packaging solution that
protects the solar cells from the extreme UV, ozone and the thermal
environment of the stratosphere, while maintaining a smooth, aerodynamic

Other crucial challenges addressed by Alta include designing for
mechanical stresses and vibration expected during flight and developing
techniques for successful co-curing into lightweight composite
structures. Optimizing a solar array for an aircraft requires complex
configurations that maximize cell packing factor, minimize electrical
mismatch and allow the design to utilize maximum surface area for solar.
Alta worked with its customers to understand these requirements and
developed sophisticated module designs that address these issues, thus
providing an easy-to-integrate solution that maximizes system
performance, while reducing the amount of work required during

Alta Devices CEO, Jian Ding, commented, “Alta Devices recognizes that
our aerospace customers need to innovate every aspect of these new and
complex aircraft systems. With our new HALE solar solution, they now
have one less thing to worry about. This will simplify the design
process and significantly reduce the complexity involved in
manufacturing these aircraft.”


The Alta Devices HALE solar product, called Alta
Devices AnylightTM Solar for HALE
is available now and
utilizes Alta’s recently announced 29.1% world-record efficiency single
junction solar cell (see
It provides performance of over 300 W/m2 under high-altitude
operating conditions. This product provides industry-leading packing
density of up to 94% including diodes and connectors. Aerospace-grade UV
and ozone-resistant materials encapsulate the lightweight gallium
arsenide solar material for multi-year life. Alta Devices engineers with
extensive expertise in integration are available for customer support
and advice on optimal integration techniques such as co-curing or
adhesives. Finally, Alta Devices is ramping its production capability in
response to its customers, who plan to manufacture a multitude of HALE
aircraft in the near future.

About Alta Devices

is empowering autonomy by delivering the world’s most
efficient, thin, and flexible mobile power technology. By converting
light of any kind into electricity, Alta Devices AnyLight™ power
technology extends the energy source of a system, and in many cases,
completely cuts the traditional power cord. The solution can be
completely integrated into the final system, and is ideal for use in
unmanned systems, satellites, electric vehicles, consumer electronics,
sensors, or anywhere size, weight, and mobility matter. Alta Devices
holds world records for energy conversion efficiency and is
headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. For more information, visit
Alta Devices is a Hanergy company.

All trademarks and registered trademarks are those of their
respective companies.


For more press information contact:
Abigail Johnson
(650) 395-7078

For more customer information contact:
Rich Kapusta, Chief
Marketing Officer
Alta Devices
(408) 585-2050
[email protected]

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