UV - Unmanned Vehicles

BAE, Prismatic to develop solar UAS

4th May 2018 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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BAE Systems has signed an agreement with Prismatic to develop a new solar electric UAS, which will have the potential to fly for up to a year at a time, BAE Systems announced on 3 May.

The companies will collaborate on the development of the solar powered high altitude, long endurance UAS known as the Persistent High Altitude Solar Aircraft 35 (PHASA-35). Work is already underway to prepare the first aircraft to be ready for flight tests in 2019.

PHASA-35 UAS will offer a year-round, low cost persistent service for a wide range of missions including surveillance and vital communications to remote areas, using only the sun to power the aircraft during the day and recharge the batteries for overnight operation.

Solar HALE vehicles offer a significantly cheaper alternative to conventional satellite technology. PHASA-35 uses long life battery technology and ultra-lightweight solar cells to maintain flight for up to 12 months. The PHASA-35 concept has a 35m wingspan and weighs 150kg.

A quarter scale model, PHASE-8, completed a successful maiden flight in 2017.

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