MicroLink Devices delivers solar arrays for new PHASA-35 HALE UAV

MicroLink Devices has delivered the first solar arrays for integration into the new Persistent High Altitude Solar Aircraft (PHASA)-35 high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (HALE UAV).

MicroLink Devices delivers solar arrays for new PHASA-35 HALE UAV
MicroLink Devices delivers solar arrays for new PHASA-35 HALE UAV

MicroLink Devices delivers solar arrays for new PHASA-35 HALE UAV

MicroLink Devices has delivered the first solar arrays for integration into the new Persistent High Altitude Solar Aircraft (PHASA)-35 high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (HALE UAV). The lightweight and flexible solar arrays were handed over to Prismatic. Last year, the company signed an agreement with BAE Systems to develop the new solar-powered HALE UAV.

The solar arrays are designed to convert sunlight into electrical energy, which will potentially enable the PHASA-35 aircraft to fly for up to 12 months powered by solar energy alone. Featuring three semiconductor materials with different bandgaps, the solar cells are produced in a single, ultra-thin format using MicroLink’s patented inverted metamorphic multijunction (IMM) technology.

MicroLink Devices president Dr Noren Pan said: “Our proprietary solar cell technology provides unrivalled efficiency and low mass, which is critical in ensuring that these new HALE UAV systems can deliver the highest level of performance year-round over the widest possible markets.

“MicroLink is well-positioned to scale up the production of IMM solar cells to support the exciting emerging markets enabled by HALE UAV over the next few years.” The company’s IMM technology enables the production of high-performance systems that generate more than 2.0kW of power from each kilogram of solar cell material. PHASA-35 HALE UAV has a 35m wingspan, weighs 150kg and will be deployed to offer different services, including surveillance and vital communications to remote areas.

Prismatic CTO Dr Darryl Sergison said: “Solar-powered HALE UAVs rely on the ability to transform as much power from the sun as possible on the limited areas of the wing and to do this with the minimal amount of weight.

“The triple-junction structure enables effective partitioning of the solar spectrum for energy conversion whilst MicroLink’s lightweight design has proven itself to minimise the mass of this power generation.”