First autonomous test flight completedunmanned aerial vehicle PHASA-35, which can fill the gap between satellites and aircraft, performing long flights at an altitude of up to 20 km in the stratosphere. Using solar panels mounted on the wings having a 35-meter wide span, the UAV can be in autonomous flight for up to 365 days.
The development of the device for two yearsEngineers from BAE Systems and Prismatic were involved. The first flight test was conducted at the Australian Air Force Range Woomera, located in southern Australia.
Solar panels PHASA-35 throughoutdaylight hours generate electricity that accumulates for nighttime flight. During the tests, the drone flew at an altitude of 2 kilometers, which is much lower than the planned altitude, but enough for the first test flight.
The technical director of BAE Systems said that an outstanding result was achieved as soon as possible and the task of the UK government to develop such original systems was implemented.
The next immediate task of the developers will be to increase the carrying capacity of the PHASA-35, which should allow placing equipment on board for 5G networks, the mass of which exceeds 40 kg.