Powering up the drones with solar photovoltaic

Advances in solar cell technology can make drones a more powerful tool not only for the battlefield but also for civilian uses, such as firefighting, crop surveying and oil and gas field monitoring.

A Silicon Valley company called Alta Devices has been working with AeroVironment to engineer a drone that can stay airborne longer and carry out missions that are impossible before.

Adding solar energy to the design could help AeroVironment win contracts. A drone that flies longer could carry out lengthier assignments and reduce its operating cost. Launched by hand (you fire up the motor, hold the drone up and then toss it into the air), the drone usually doesn