UAVOS, an unmanned solutions specialist, successfully piloted a drone powered by the sun for 10 consecutive hours.
The American company completed flight tests of the solar-powered unmanned SAT-i aircraft, designed to perform monitoring and aerial photography during daylight hours.
The new unmanned aircraft’s non-stop 10-hour mission for aerial photography had a payload of a 600-gram mirrorless camera.
SAT-I, which has a fixed wing with a wingspan of 7.3m, weighs 6.2 kg and is equipped with a Li-Ion battery which allows flying without solar energy for two hours with payload up to 600 grams.
Vadim Tarasov, UAVOS investor and board member said: “Based on UAVOS experience, to achieve high quality aerial photography, work has to be done in the daytime with a good level of illumination.
“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. Especially effective is the use of such UAVs for high-resolution orthomosaic imagery in large areas with a long flight time. For example, to successfully solve communication problems during long-distance monitoring missions of electrical power lines UAVOS uses the Iridium data satellite transceiver module.”
The UAVOS SAT-i UAV technology offers cost-effective services for a wide range of customer needs, including prospecting, mapping, monitoring of important lines of communication in remote areas, while using only solar energy during the day. Backup batteries allow to perform short missions for two to four hours without solar activity, in case of need extending the operations.
UAVOS, headquartered in California, recently raised a round of financing from a group of private investors, in order to further enhance its R&D efforts, reduce the go-to-market time for new solutions and also focus on promotion and commercialisation.