CDTI has funded 125K of the SOLVIS project. The SOLVIS project was ranked #2 out 110 proposals, and is considered a key demonstrator for green aviation / CleanSky technologies. AERDRON was invited by CDTI to introduce the SOLVIS project during an Innoglobal aerospace industry lecture in December 2016.
AERDRON & SunPower USA signed a project collaboration agreement. SunPower provided 106.5K of investment towards developing the SOLVIS UAV aircraft. SunPower has a proven track record with aviation related solar powered projects from the Solar Impulse II, NASA Helios, Google Heliostats, and others.
AERDRON & Embou MasMovil signed a project collaboration agreement for the SOLVIS project. Embou MasMovil will provide the telecommunications and server infrastructure for flight testing in Aragon (Spain).
Battery Pack Development
AERDRON developed custom made battery packs for the SOLVIS UAV. The battery packs have individually fused 18650 3600 mAh cells. A bespoke PCB was designed for not only providing power, cell voltage balancing, but also to provide I/O channels for servos, lights, and externals sensors. The aim was to eliminate the need for separate wiring harnesses. The SOLVIS carries (8) custom made battery packs in the wings. The SOLVIS can fly for 11 hours on battery power alone.
Solar Array Development
The SOLVIS UAV utilizes SunPower Maxeon II solar cells. These are the same cells used in the Solar Impulse II. SunPower USA is a project partner on the SOLVIS project. The SOLVIS will use 96 solar cells to have a peak available power of 328W. The solar arrays will be capable of charging the batteries after being spent during the night flight period in only 3 hours with (2) custom made MPPT.
Since the SOLVIS has a large wingspan, the deflections and stiffness of the wing needed to optimized to not crack the solar cells nor couple with any natural frequencies. The wing design was performed using classical hand calculations, then verified using FEA. The SOLVIS wing and empennage was constructed from carbon sandwich skin construction with molded spars. The fuselage is made from molded carbon fiber shells.