On Saturday April 23rd, Solar Impulse 2 crossed the Pacific completing its ninth leg on a journey around the world without using a drop of fuel. This journey marks a new era in aviation – one that is based entirely on renewable energy. On behalf of everyone at Alta Devices, we congratulate Andre Borschberg, Bertrand Piccard, and the entire Solar Impulse 2 team on a truly remarkable accomplishment. This new era of renewable energy based sustainable flight will have many implications for our world. The most important of these will be the cost effective delivery of communications services to the far corners of the globe via unmanned aircraft – connecting the roughly 3 billion people on the planet today that still do not have access to the internet.
This is not possible without solar power. Here at Alta Devices, we are committed to lead the world in advancing the possibilities for solar technology. Recently, we achieved yet another world record for our dual junction solar cell at 31.6% conversion efficiency. We are also rolling out an even lighter and more flexible cell at 170 g/m2 to directly address the needs of the unmanned aircraft market.
Our new technology fundamentally changes the economics of what’s possible for high altitude long endurance unmanned systems. We will enable more powerful payloads, reduced aircraft size, improved aircraft performance, and global flight operations.
We are absolutely excited about what lies ahead for sustainable aviation, and we are committed to lead the way in solar power technology.