GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK—Printed circuit supplier Trackwise has produced an 85-foot-long multilayer flexible circuit—said to be the world’s longest—for distributing power and control signals across the wings of a solar-powered drone. The flexible printed circuit (FPC) is one of more than 50 supplied by the company for the drone.
The FPC features a polyimide substrate that dissipates heat better than conventional wiring, enabling higher carrying capacity for a given weight of copper conductor. According to Philip Johnston, CEO of Trackwise, FPCs make up the entire interconnect system of the drone and weigh an estimated 60 percent less than a traditional wire harness. This weight savings increases the speed and range of the drone, which is being manufactured in the USA.
Trackwise uses a patented, reel-to-reel manufacturing technique that enables the company to produce FPCs of potentially unlimited length.