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PHASA-35 completes endurance trials with sensor payload

12th October 2020 - 11:02 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

Solar-powered HALE UAV could enter service 12 months after flight trials are completed

Following its initial flight in February, the PHASA-35 HALE UAV has successfully completed critical endurance trials.

PHASA-35 was demonstrated as a fully integrated system together with a communications sensor payload from Dstl (this included an RF frequency sensing software-defined radio that provided a real-time and secure data link).

The trials, in a dedicated 40m hangar near Farnborough, involved BAE Systems, Prismatic and the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

BAE Systems announced on 11 October that the 35m-wingspan aircraft operated for 72h ‘in a simulated environment that models the harsh stratospheric conditions in which the aircraft is designed to operate’.

Further flight trials are due to take place ‘in the coming months’, the company added, noting that PHASA-35 ‘could enter initial operations with customers within 12 months of completion of its flight trials programme’.

Designed to operate unmanned in the stratosphere above the weather and conventional air traffic, the solar-electric PHASA-35 has the potential to stay airborne for up to a year at a time.

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