HiDRON completes flights tests at 82,000ft
UAVOS and Stratodynamics Aviation have successfully completed the next stage of flights tests of the HiDRON earth observation platform to an altitude of 82,000ft, UAVOS announced on 6 February.
The night flight lasted for four hours, including the one-hour weather balloon launch period with an average climb rate at 6.8m/s. The return flight lasted for about three hours. During the test, the system operated in headwinds up to 180km/h, -60° C temperatures, experienced wing icing and returned and landed autonomously.
The HiDRON’s flight stabilisation after balloon release and tuning the UAS controls and components for stratospheric flight were prime objectives of the mission. During the flight, operators checked the performance of the HiDRON’s avionic systems, flight characteristics, safety features, instrument integration and auxiliary tracking systems including a transponder.
The HiDRON also carried atmospheric measurement systems onboard. The payload collected meteorological data with atmospheric instruments and transmitted to the ground station in real-time. The obtained performance data will be used for the next stage of testing at an altitude of 98,000ft.
The HiDRON, a joint project of UAVOS and Stratodynamics Aviation, is a fixed wing glider integrated with meteorological equipment and launched by a stratospheric helium-filled weather balloon. With 3.4m wingspan, the HiDRON weighs under 5kg and is capable of carrying a measurement instrument weighing up to 1kg.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
Royal Navy selects Animal Dynamics parafoil UAV for second phase of Heavy Lift challenge
With a payload capacity of 135kg, the Stork STM can fly up to 400km using a parafoil wing to generate lift.
IDEX 2023: Autel Robotics showcases DJI challenger drone
Autel Robotics presented its Dragonfish series and EVO Max 4T at IDEX 2023, hoping to challenge DJI's market dominance with the latter.
BAE and Innovaero debut Strix, Australia’s first domestic armed VTOL UAS
At the Avalon Airshow, BAE Systems Australia debuted Australia’s first domestically designed, built and armed VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) uncrewed air system (UAS), the Strix.
Enhanced autopilots pave way to autonomy for US multi-engine jets
The USAF has commissioned a year-long autonomy study by Reliable Robotics for large jet aircraft.
IDEX 2023: Black Eagle UAV gets miniature airborne radar
Integrating the radar into the Steadicopter UAS allows the rotorcraft to spot potential maritime threats.
IDEX 2023: KAI showcases developmental tiltrotor UAV
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is showcasing two developmental uncrewed platforms at IDEX 2023, the Night Intruder 500 Vectored Thurst (NI-500VT) and Air Launched Effect (ALE).