MicroLink Devices has been recognised by Airbus Defence and Space as a key supplier for the Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) UAV platform.
MicroLink and Airbus celebrated this event with employees in a ceremony near MicroLink’s Chicago headquarters.
The manufacturer supplies a high-efficiency solar sheet product line that is an enabling technology for electrically powered UAVs and pseudo-satellites which have significant area and weight constraints.
The companies said that combination of high-efficiency and low mass enabled by MicroLink’s epitaxial lift-off (ELO) inverted metamorphic multi-junction (IMM) solar cells provides ‘superior performance.’
The latest generation of MicroLink solar sheet products has specific powers exceeding 1.5 kW/kg.
The development of MicroLink’s ELO technology over the past decade has been sponsored by numerous U.S. agencies including NASA, DARPA, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research, NAVAIR, Army Research Office, Army REF, CERDEC, and the Department of Energy/NREL.
Dr. Noren Pan, president and CEO of MicroLink, commented: “We are very grateful to Airbus to have had the opportunity to partner with them in making continuous, multi-month solar-powered flight possible through the Zephyr platform.”
Adding: “Our proprietary solar cell technology provides unrivalled performance in a lightweight, flexible format and is a critical technology for the success of HAPS platforms. MicroLink looks forward to scaling up its production of IMM solar cells to support the exciting emerging markets enabled by the Zephyr platform.”