High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) are a type of unmanned aerial vehicle that can soar for long stretches of time, and are commonly powered by solar energy. HAPS designs aren’t new, considering the Zephyr by Airbus and Facebook’s Aquila drone already have taken to the sky over the past few years. Now Silicon Valley-based company UAVOS has just finished the first flight tests of its HAPS prototype, dubbed ApusDuo.
In addition to autonomy and solar power generation, the aircraft’s CPU supports flexible wings that totaled more than 1,000 flight hours. The test flight took place at an altitude of 66 feet (20 meters) and successfully handled turbulence thanks to the bendable wing structures.
“The flying model has a 46 feet (14 meter) span of the wing and weighs 33 lb (15 kg). The airframe of the unmanned vehicle is made of materials based on carbon fibers, which have very high strength, low weight, and are designed for long-term continuous operation,” according to UAVOS.
Long continuous monitoring for military and non-military applications is ideal for these machines. The company lists a few example use cases on the ApusDuo data sheet:
- Video surveillance and monitoring
- Drone communications system
- Broadband to home and enterprise
- Radio link range extension and retransmission
- Target pointing and designation
- R&D flying laboratory (meteorology, hydrology, etc.)
The recent tests were performed at the Xponential 2018 exhibition, which you can enjoy in the video below.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense