All posts by Kye Morton

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V-TOL is excited to announce that Halocell have delivered the first test sets of their advanced perovskite solar cells to our Rocklea facility.

“Our initial perovskite cell testing findings indicated a significant advantage both in weight and power generation over current technologies”, says Mark Xavier, CEO at V-TOL Aerospace.

The test program to address how these cells will be integrated has commenced. This integration will allow the direct placement of the cells into the wings and fuselage assemblies of the Pegasus I* RPAS.

“Due to the nature of the cells, the entire aircraft can be skinned with the perovskite solar solution, effectively doubling the surface area that can generate energy for the Li-S batteries”, says Dr Kye Morton, CTO at V-TOL Aerospace.

V-TOL Aeronautical Engineers, Joe McGee & Rhys Mapson are seen here displaying a gift from Halocell, an operating example presentation arrangement. Tom Fontaine at Halocell has kindly provided further information about the new cells in: Revolutionizing Drone Technology with Perovskite Solar Cells

“This LED will shine brightly for years to come without being exposed to direct outdoor sunlight. Another advantage of the Halocell chemistry which will also see it used in our healthcare products at Ariel.Care,” says Mark.

*Pegasus I is the test bed for developing a family of long range long endurance solar aircraft utilising the advances in Australian Halocell Perovskite Solar & (ASX: LIS) Sulphur Metal Battery technology.

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V-TOL Aerospace has executed a Joint Development Agreement with the ASX listed battery manufacturer Li-S Energy and the solar cell manufacturer Halocell Energy. The aim of this agreement is to design and manufacture two (2) cutting edge multi-purpose drones:

  • Pegasus I – a small drone designed for low-level infrastructure survey. It will enable:
    • Large-area surveying and real-time AI-driven infrastructure fault detection.
    • Long-duration “dawn til dusk” (12-14 hours) communication relay operations.
  • Pegasus II – a large drone designed for high altitude, long endurance flights (weeks to months at a time). It will enable:
    • A semi-permanent communications platform that can be positioned on-demand.
    • A wide range of large-area and on-going environment monitoring capabilities for multiple kinds of imaging sensors.

“These aircraft types equipped with advanced Li-S Energy’s storage and Halocell’s next-gen solar panels will be Australian Designed & Made by V-TOL Aerospace. The geospatial and communication capabilities of a highly redundant multi-purpose network of Pegasus I & II aircraft will offer Australian industries a capability only limited by our imaginations,” says Mark Xavier CEO of V-TOL Aerospace.

“We look forward to delivering these products with our Joint Development Partners & Industry Program Participants,” he continued.

A full ASX release is available from Li-S Energy for further reading, or refer to their ASX Announcements for the latest details.

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V-TOL has commenced manufacturing its own Lithium-Ion battery packs in a move towards increasing it’s quality assurance and technical sovereign capabilities. The key benefits are directly visibly for many aspects of the drone industry as a whole:

“Reliability of supply and quality of product are will be critical to ensuring the next generations of battery management systems for robotics”, says Mark Xavier, CEO V-TOL Aerospace.

Final steps of assembly for V-TOL’s prototype next-generation battery packs.

V-TOL continues its integration of advanced battery and solar chemistries to power the next generation of robots and sensors. Understanding the limitations of current technologies is the first step to optimizing the design of next generation robots. With this stage of the development cycle complete, a first-of-kind next generation drones are on the horizon.

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V-TOL Aerospace’s innovative approach to developing the Rota-Fix™ drone for attaching Balmoral Rotamarka™ safety devices to electrical infrastructure has now been certified as a new & distinctive design by IP Australia. This acknowledgement is great news and of significant value for V-TOL Aerospace as we take this technology global, says Mark Xavier, CEO & MD of V-TOL.

As V-TOL’s launch product in its strategy to deliver Robot AI Human Teaming solutions for the maintenance & management of critical energy infrastructure under, Rota-Fix™ will provide an appropriate example of how advanced robotics & AI can be safely & effectively utilized.  We look forward to additional announcements by IP Australia and with our growing group of collaborating Australian & NZ industry partners that will demonstrate that V-TOL Aerospace is a global leader in its chosen field.

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After three years of close collaborative development, testing and deployment, and despite the challenges of COVID, Balmoral Engineering working closely with V-TOL Aerospace and Energy Queensland (EQL), has certified V-TOL’s Rota-Fix™ Drone installation solution for the placement of Rotamarka™ on electrical infrastructure.

Balmoral’s Rotamarka is designed to deflect birds, low level aircraft, and potential ground based contact from electrical infrastructure. The Rotamarka™ is a world leader in infrastructure safety, as noted by Glen Cook, and is internationally recognised for EQL’s safety strategy “Look Up & Live”.

“Key to our installations is the knowledge that V-TOL Rota-Fix™ has demonstrated the ability to safely install Rotamarka™ to the manufacture’s specifications without disruptions to live networks”

Gordon Hedges from Balmoral Engineering

This marks a key next step in the enabling capabilities that V-TOL Aerospace is now able to provide. Attaching the Rotamarka™ correctly, safely, and with minimal interruptions to the on-going operations of energy providers allows for on-going improvements to network safety standards without any of the typical downsides associated with this kind of work.

We look forward to rolling out V-TOL’s Rota-Fix™ and Balmoral’s Rotamarka™ using a “supply & apply” strategy wherever energy infrastructure is located. This outcome demonstrates how Australian companies and industry, working closely together, can deliver an innovative global solution.

Mark Xavier, CEO of V-TOL Aerospace