Here I showcase a solar powered saucer UAV (“drone”) aircraft for use in applications such as aerial surveillance, monitoring and for USB devices that can be powered by the solar array.
The hexcopter craft itself is powered by a 2600mAh battery which can be charged by the lightweight solar panel array, greatly extending the flight time.
The craft can also be charged on sight when landed, greatly increasing the potential for automation and reducing dependence on centralized energy infrastructure.
The solar panel array is made of Amorphous thin-film silicon (ATF-Si) solar cells, each having an energy gathering efficiency of up to 20%. These solar cells are light enough to cause no significant weight added to the craft.
The craft can also power onboard USB devices, such as cameras or even WiFi repeaters or boosters greatly increasing he range an sensitivity of the device. Moreover, such technology could be used as an alternative to satellites in remote locations to send RF signals beyond line-of-sight based communication limits.
The drone controller is itself modified using a 2.4 GHZ line-of-sight directional antenna, which can boost the signal up to 30dB. This booster can be charged by USB cable.
It is hoped that future developments could lead to drones equipped with WiFi repeater technology to assist cameras, communications on the drone and perhaps add significant reception to WiFi infrastructure on the surface, particularly in high density areas such as towns and cities.
Project by MuonRay Enterprises Ireland