BAE's PHASA-35 Solar Aircraft Completes Critical Endurance Trials with Sensor Payload

PHASA-35 Solar Aircraft Completes Critical Endurance Trials with Sensor Payload – link

Source: Defense World

Article Headlines
  • BAE Systems’ PHASA-35, a 35-metre wingspan solar-electric aircraft, has successfully completed critical endurance trials with a sensor payload
  • The solar-powered maritime surveillance drone operated for 72 hours in a simulated environment that models the harsh stratospheric conditions in which the aircraft is designed to operate, the company said in a statement on October 13
  • The trials, a collaborative effort by BAE Systems, Prismatic and the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), advancing the aircraft’s operational utility
  • Known as critical ‘soak’ tests, the trials demonstrated the aircraft working effectively as a fully integrated system together with Dstl’s communications sensor payload; a radio frequency sensing software defined radio that provides a real-time and secure data link
  • The tests, which were undertaken in a dedicated 40m hangar at Prismatic’s facility near Farnborough, also enabled the team to practice the various operations needed in flight, including the transition from daytime, when the aircraft is powered by the solar array, to night-time, when the aircraft’s batteries are discharged
  • Further flight trials are due to take place in the coming months and this latest milestone is another step forward for the aircraft which could enter initial operations with customers within 12 months of completion of its flight trials program
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