UAVOS completes flight test of UAS that is powered by the Sun
UAVOS Inc. has completed flight tests of its unmanned SAT-i aircraft, which is powered by the Sun.
Designed to perform monitoring and aerial photography during daylight hours, the UAS has demonstrated high performance capabilities thus far, having successfully completed a non-stop 10-hour mission for aerial photography of the surface relief, with a payload of a 600-gram mirrorless camera.
“Based on UAVOS experience, to achieve high quality aerial photography, work has to be done in the daytime with a good level of illumination,” explains Vadim Tarasov UAVOS investor and board member.
“Using solar-powered aircraft for such missions is, in our opinion, most promising, since solar energy is sufficient to perform a continuous flight throughout the daylight hours.”
With a fixed wing with a wingspan of 7.3 meters, SAT-i, which weighs just 6.2 kilograms, is equipped with a Li-Ion battery that allows it to fly without solar energy for two (optionally four) hours with payload up to 600 grams.
The UAS is hand-launched, while the flight and landing are performed in fully autonomous mode.
A flat level surface that is 200 meters long is suitable for landing the UAS, with a touchdown accuracy of about 100 meters, UAVOS says. The landing trajectory calculations are carried out in an automatic mode, and take into account the current weather conditions. UAVOS says that “low landing speed of 7 m/s allows to keep the aircraft intact after numerous landings.”
According to UAVOS, SAT-i offers cost-effective services for a variety of customer needs, including but not limited to, prospecting, mapping, and monitoring of important lines of communication in remote areas; all of which can be done using only solar energy during the day.
Additionally, the UAS can perform short missions for 2-4 hours without solar activity—in the event that operations need to be extended—thanks to backup batteries.
Video footage of the Solar-Powered SAT-i aircraft flying can be seen below: