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Onderzoeksdrone op zonne-energie van start

Graphic News

April 23, 2019 -- Odysseus, een enorm met zonne-energie aangedreven onbemand vliegtuig, gemaakt om drie maanden onophoudelijk op grote hoogtes te vliegen, wordt gebruikt voor onderzoek van klimaat en atmosfeer.

Designed by Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing that specializes in unmanned aerial vehicles, Odysseus has a wingspan of 74 metres, and can offer 250 watts of continuous power to a 25kg payload such as a satellite.

The aircraft will fly in the stratosphere, well above weather conditions and other aircraft and can cover a massive geographic area while maintaining contact with a station on the ground.

Odysseus can fly continuously for up to three months at a time, giving it a distinct advantage over UAVs that need to land and recharge. Because it's solar powered, the craft produces zero emissions.

Aurora will operate Odysseus from Puerto Rico, selected because it is at about 20 degrees latitude and on the East Coast, but it will be remotely operated from the company’s headquarters in Manassas, Virginia.

The drone will be shipped to Puerto Rico in late February 2019 and it is scheduled to make its first flight on April 23, 2019.

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