Trackwise has shipped a 26-metre long multilayer flexible printed circuit (FPC), believed to be the longest ever produced, for distributing power and control signals across the wings of a solar-powered UAV.
The circuit is one of more than 50 supplied by Trackwise into this vehicle.
The entire interconnect system of the vehicle is made of FPCs representing an estimated total systems weight saving of 60% over traditional wire harness.
This will enable the UAV, which is being manufactured in the US, to achieve higher payload and improved speed and range.
Conventional FPCs are rarely more than two metres in length, primarily due to limitations of manufacturing processes.
Philip Johnston, CEO at Trackwise, said: “There are many new applications emerging for long, lightweight FPCs but aerospace is a natural fit: weight savings, high reliability and cost-effectiveness are critical.
“We’re also seeing growing interest from a variety of sectors including medical and automotive. For the latter, manufacturers are challenged to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel efficiency at a time when there’s an ever-growing array of electrical and electronic circuits in their vehicles. In particular, electric vehicles are accelerating this trend.”