Today, Airbus is advancing solar cell technology to enable unmanned aerial vehicles to stay aloft in the stratosphere for extended periods – using only sunlight as energy.
Our work in solar flight is focused on:
- Developing advanced photovoltaic solar panels that are lighter, more flexible and capable of capturing more energy per m2 of surface,
- Converting captured solar energy into electrical energy to power an electric-propulsion system and other onboard equipment,
- Harnessing solar energy into a rechargeable energy storage system, thereby enabling the aircraft to fly at night with unlimited autonomy.
Our flagship programme, Zephyr, is a high-altitude pseudo-satellite that is powered exclusively by solar power.