China Near Space Solar Drone Completes Multiple Flight Autonomous Flight Verification

Date:Mar 19, 2019


Recently, China Aerospace Science & Industry Corp (CASIC) successfully completed the autonomous flight verification of multiple solar drones. The solar drone is a key technology in the Feiyun project of CASIC proposes to build a local area network by setting up a solar drone in the near space, which can achieve more than one week of emergency communication support.

Near space solar drone is a new type of aircraft that uses solar radiation as its power source to obtain energy spontaneously during flight. It can fly continuously for several days or even months in the adjacent space. It has high flying height and long battery life (In theory It can realize unlimited infinity), easy to use and maintain, and cost-effective. It has the characteristics of Quasi-satellite and is a hot spot in current international research.

The near space solar drone developed by CASIC adopts the medium-wing conventional layout form, which reduces the flight control difficulty of the drone and improves the maintenance performance while achieving high lift-to-drag ratio aerodynamic performance. The utility model adopts an ultra-light high-strength composite material structure, which reduces the proportion of structural weight and improves the wind resistance and environmental adaptability of the drone. It uses an efficient energy power system and a highly reliable and highly reliable airborne equipment to enhance the mission reliability of the UAV's long-haul flight. Through the matching and coordination design of each sub-system, the solar drone can be widely used in many fields such as emergency communication support, remote sensing mapping, meteorological detection, etc. due to its high flying height and long battery life, and has broad application prospects.

Feiyun Engineering uses solar-powered drones to carry LAN equipment, which can provide network coverage that is much larger than that of ground base stations and “concomitant” network access services that are not restricted by the area, enabling inter-regional user information interconnection and user data. Services such as voice and video provide interfaces and transmission links. The project can provide an effective communication network coverage solution for remote mountain areas, small islands and reefs, and other areas where it is difficult to set up base stations. At the same time, it can quickly restore communication in disaster areas under the condition of damaged communication facilities in natural disaster areas. In addition, drones in different coverage areas form information interactions through relay stations, enabling wide-area network and communication coverage.