Solar Aircraft

At Aurora we strive to utilize resources already in our grasp to embark on new technological opportunities. We understand the importance of further developing solar technology and are an established leader in the solar powered aircraft market. Pulling from an unlimited supply of energy, solar powered aircraft can positively affect society through a multitude of applications ranging from surveillance to communications. Additionally, with increasing emphasis on green technologies, the development of zero emissions aircraft is increasingly important to the aerospace and aviation industries.

Applications

  • Global communications relay
  • Long-endurance surveillance
  • Low-cost satellite replacements
  • Eco-friendly, zero emission operations

Capability Overview

Aurora’s Sunlight Eagle program converted an ultralight human powered aircraft frame into a solar vehicle completely powered by the sun. After undergoing structural validation tests, the aircraft received FAA airworthiness certification in the experimental category. The 165lb, 114-foot wingspan aircraft successfully took flight in 2009, proving the capability of solar powered, long endurance vehicles.

In 2008, Aurora was selected as a contractor by DARPA for Phase 1 of the “Vulture” ultra-long endurance aircraft program. Aurora’s design, called “Odysseus,” was highly unique in its ability to change form in the air to maximize solar energy collection, allowing for off-season operations further from the equator than had ever been achieved.

Images

Note: To download high resolution images, visit the Media Gallery.