1998-04-21

GaAs/Ge Solar Powered Aircraft, 1998 981260

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are being proposed for many applications including surveillance, mapping and atmospheric studies. These applications require a lightweight, low speed, medium to long duration aircraft. Due to the weight, speed, and altitude constraints imposed on such an aircraft, solar array generated electric power can be a viable alternative to air-breathing engines for certain missions. Development, of such an aircraft is currently being funded under the Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program. NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC) has built a Solar Electric Airplane to demonstrate UAV technology. This aircraft utilizes high efficiency Applied Solar Energy Corporation (ASEC) GaAs/Ge space solar cells. The cells have been provided by the Air Force through the ManTech Office.

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