Aurora Flight Sciences has revealed that its solar-powered endurance drone, Odysseus, will take to the skies for the first time next spring.
Powered only by the sun, Odysseus is an ultra-long endurance, high-altitude platform built for persistence.
The device utilises advanced solar cells and is built with lightweight materials, technology the company claims could make Odysseus effectively fly for months on end.
The project was organised and led by Aurora president and CEO John Langford, alongside other MIT colleagues.
Commenting on the news, Langford said: “Aurora was founded by the idea that technology and innovation can provide powerful solutions to tough problems that affect all of humankind. Odysseus was an idea born out of Daedalus that is now a real solution to advancing the important research around climate change and other atmospheric chemistry problems.”
He added: “Odysseus offers persistence like no other solar aircraft of its kind, which is why it is such a capable and necessary platform for researchers. Odysseus will indeed change the world.”
Aurora hopes the platform will be used to measure vegetation, ice coverage and flow rates, and even ground moisture and, in addition to climate and atmospheric research, it hopes the long-flight aspect of the device will enables users to complete a range of missions and operations across communication, connectivity, and intelligence.