The PHASA-35 solar-powered electric drone made its first test flight. Long battery life allows it to stay in the air for up to one year.
The PHASA-35 is a drone that can fill the gap between aircraft and satellite technology. It can fly in the stratosphere at a distance of up to 20 km during the year. Developed by BAE Systems and Prismatic, it took to the skies at the Woomera Royal Australian Air Force test site.
The wings of a 35-meter plane are covered with solar panels that power it during the day, batteries accumulate additional energy to maintain the PHASA-35 in the air at night.
During the tests, he flew at an altitude of 2 km, which does not correspond to the average expected height of the aircraft. However, the researchers noted that it will increase as the next test flights of the design.
Ian Muldooney, an engineering director at BAE Systems, said it was an “outstanding result”, which showed that they could create a “combat air system” over the next decade.
According to BAE Systems, the drone can be used to deliver 5G communications networks. The device can carry several antennas for a long time, the weight of which can exceed 40 kg.