UAVOS has announced it is nearing the end of the manufacturing process for its new aircraft, the HiDRON.
Commissioned by Stratodynamic Aviation, the HiDRON is a balloon launched unmanned glider capable of autonomous flight modes.
It has been designed for the collection of high-altitude atmospheric data.
According to the companies behind the project, the objective of the HiDRON is to provide a new dynamic method for measuring and evaluating atmospheric phenomena at various altitudes in a variety of geographical location.
The HiDRON is launched to high-altitudes via a helium-filled balloon and, once launched, the autopilot and integrated atmospheric measurement system transmit data in real-time to a ground station.
After reaching the desired altitude, or as directed by an operator on the ground, the HiDRON is released from the balloon and glides back to a pre-specified landing site.
Unique autopilot flight algorithms can also process in-situ data such as thermal or wave conditions, to increase flight duration or direct the flight path to specific areas.
Gary Pundsack, CEO at Stratodynamics Aviation, said: “Stratodynamics is very excited to explore this frontier with the UAVOS team. The HiDRON provides a new dynamic platform for upper air observations and in-situ sampling at a fraction of the cost of typical high-altitude platforms.
He added: “We look forward to further developing the aircraft and avionics to harness naturally occurring phenomena that create lift and extend flight duration, reduce costs, power requirements, and weight. We’re excited to be collaborating with the University of Kentucky and contributing to the understanding of climate change and its causes.”