Drones have moved beyond merely a concept to commercialization now and a number of industries are investing on them for security and surveillance purposes, whereas Amazon is even hoping to use drones for package deliveries. However, how are these drones powered? The World is already struggling to meet the exponential energy demands and most of the sectors are now harnessing the possibilities of depending more on renewable energy resources. Along the same line, European aviation giant Airbus has come up with a solar-powered drone that can achieve high altitudes as well as function very similar as a satellite.
Named as Zephyr S, the prototype was unveiled at the Britain’s Farnborough airshow, with Airbus confirming that the drone successfully flew from Arizona in the U.S., which demonstrated the true capabilities of the aircraft. With a wingspan of 82 feet and weighing less than 55 pounds, the drone can attain altitudes of nearly 21,000 meters, which pushes its boundaries beyond weather and traditional air traffic.
The drone is an amalgamation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a satellite, exhibiting capability of both. It will be equipped with batter technology that can conserve energy during sunlight and release after dark.
Airbus has also modeled Zephyr T, which is the bigger brother of the former with a wingspan of 33 meters. Over the course of the next three months, the company plans to fly the drone for time durations of around 30 hours to truly test its efficiency.
There are as many as seven models in the pipeline, which will be produced this year itself, where another lot of seven will be released in 2019. Airbus has Britain Defense Ministry as its first customer!