This Airbus Drone can remain in the air for 45 days

Can drones take over functions of satellite? The British armed forces want to test it. Try three solar-powered drones by Airbus for communication and spying tasks. The technical services of the drones are amazing.

Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defense and Space

The drone Zephyr S Airbus, formerly called also Zephyr 8, has with the small aircraft that currently provide at Amazon or Deutsche Post DHL furore, little to do. This begins with a very long usage life: the Zephyr can remain in the air for up to 45 days S. This extremely long flight through the solar drive is possible. The span of the drone is 25 m.

The wings are completely equipped with solar cells that provide the power for the propulsion of electric motors. Because the drone always flies above the clouds at altitudes of up to 21,000 m, the solar cells can work undisturbed by the weather and recharge the batteries.

Zephyr drones have high payload

The Zephyr S, from which the British army has ordered just a third model, weighs just 30 kg. With batteries it is weight 62 kg. The payload is up to 5 kg. Communications, observation and spying devices of all kinds in question come as payload.

Defence and space Airbus
The drone has a wingspan of 25 m Zephyr S. In the development of the larger drone is Zephyr T with two hulls and a wingspan of 33 m. The wings are completely covered with solar cells. Photo: Defence and space Airbus

Airbus just publish graphs show the drone in the usage to the monitoring of borders, as the radio station for limited local communication networks and the off pioneers of systems and radio communications.

Defence and space Airbus
The Zephyr S flying at altitudes of up to 21,000 m. She can take over espionage and communication functions. The British military has ordered three drones. Photo: Defence and space Airbus

Military as civilian monitoring functions

Zephyr is S both military as civilian monitoring functions can be used. The British Government initially involves the military side. In a statement of the Ministry of defense States that secure the three Zephyr drone “all possibilities of the next generation in the monitoring of areas of tension for the armed forces”. Zephyr deliver “non-more detailed information than previously possible”.

With a price of around seven million euros, Zephyr S is significantly cheaper than any manned aircraft for the same task.

Zephyr was originally developed in the United Kingdom

The Zephyr drone was originally with State financial resources developed by QinetiQ, a civilian high-tech research firm, that has emerged from British defense research and development. In the past year, QinetiQ sold the Zephyr program to Airbus defense and space.

Interesting especially for the military: the Zephyr drone can build local communications networks, and to support the troops in conflict situations. In addition, they can collect information out of the air. Photo: Defence and space Airbus

With the three drones of Zephyr ordered from Airbus, British military within a year period will determine whether solar-powered drones are actually on time for the replacement of the satellite. To perform the first flights mid-2017.

Currently negotiated Airbus with the armed forces in Germany and Singapore about a purchase of the drone system.