Hidron stratospheric glider reaches new heights
Stratodynamics and UAVOS have carried out another flight of the Hidron unmanned stratospheric glider, during which it reached and flew at an altitude of 30km.
This breaks a previous record of flying at 25km, and this recent night flight was the first of two that have been commissioned to test a new AMON airglow detector from Stratodynamics’ customer, the Slovak Academy of Sciences Institute of Experimental Physics.
This collaboration is the culmination of seven months of planning between Stratodynamics and lead physicists Pavol Bobik and Simon Mackovjak, as well as UAVOS.
The Slovakian team was searching for a cost-effective method to allow the AMON airglow detector to have a clear view of the zenith and the nadir while unencumbered by a weather balloon, the companies say.
The AMON is planned to be an ancillary instrument for the EUSO-SPB2 mission that will fly on a long duration NASA balloon in 2022.
The Hidron was an ideal platform, the companies say, because its programmable flight path back enabled an unobstructed view upwards from the stratosphere, while also returning the instrument back to the launch location.
In addition to the AMON detector, Stratodynamics and UAVOS used the flight to test and advance aspects of the Hidron design including stratospheric flight dynamics, datalinks, and UAVOS’ micro version AP10.3 autopilot.
‘We are extremely pleased with the performance and outcome of this recent 30km milestone,’ Gary Pundsack, CEO of Stratodynamics Aviation, said.
‘Stratodynamics has proven to be a valuable partner with the Slovak academy’s investigations into nighttime airglow. Our unique method of collecting high-quality large datasets from hard to reach locations offers clients new, cost effective access to stratospheric altitudes.’
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