Colorado, USA – Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. and Bye Aerospace Inc have announced that Ascent will work as a “development partner” with Bye on aircraft projects, including a potential unmanned air vehicle.
Thornton-based Ascent Solar makes thin-cell photovoltaic solar-power modules. Bye Aerospace, located at Centennial Airport in Arapahoe County, has been working on aircraft powered by electric motors.
Ascent Solar previously had worked with a division of Bye Aerospace on ways to install solar-power panels on the wings of a piloted plane to harvest the sun’s energy and funnel it into the plane’s batteries and motor, Bye officials said in 2010.
George Bye, chairman and CEO of Bye Aerospace, said that one concept his company now has in development — the Silent Guardian unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV — “relies on thin film solar photovoltaics, stored electric power and other technologies to enhance its potential for long endurance, quiet operations and low emissions. With Ascent Solar as a development partner, our development time should improve drastically.”
“We are excited to apply our technology in collaboration with Bye Aerospace to develop a new generation of UAVs,” Victor Lee, president and CEO of Ascent Solar, said in the statement.
President Barack Obama in February signed a law directing the Federal Aviation Administration to draft new rules allowing wider domestic use of unmanned aircraft, often called drones, in U.S. airspace, including commercial use. Previously, domestic drone flights had mostly been limited to military and security uses.