An Adelaide company developing capability for the commercial manufacture of solar powered drones will receive $150,000 in support under the State Government’s Early Commercialisation Fund.

Praxis Aeronautics has created a process by which solar cells can be encapsulated into a composite material, such as the body of a drone.

Currently, petrol powered drones are expensive to purchase and maintain, and while electric drones are cheaper, they have a flight duration of up to only one hour depending on payload.

With the extended flight duration, the company believes the drones could be used for a number of humanitarian, environmental management, mapping and defence purposes, such as delivery of medical supplies to remote or isolated communities

The support will go towards scaling up the systems and production facilities to allow for the manufacture of full scale solar powered drones for sale.

The $10 million, four-year SA Early Commercialisation Fund provides staged grants of up to $500,000. To date over 240 expressions of interest have been received from entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and businesses.

For more information see the SA Early Commercialisation Fund