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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Solar-Powered UAV  
  An unmanned aerial vehicle that is entirely solar-powered.  

The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread. Had there been an eye to observe them, it might not even have noted their minute, tropism-like pursuit of the sun across the sky as they recharged their batteries for the night's flight.
From Changeling, by Roger Zelazny.
Published by Ace in 1980
Additional resources -

There are real-life solar-powered UAVs. The Sunrise II was built by Lockheed in 1975 and had 4480 solar cells delivering over 600 watts; it weighed only 4 lbs. The climb rate of the Sunrise II reached about 300 ft per minute or 20,000 ft per hour and the service ceiling was estimated to be about 75,000 feet.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Changeling
  More Ideas and Technology by Roger Zelazny
  Tech news articles related to Changeling
  Tech news articles related to works by Roger Zelazny

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