UAVs Now Reaching The Stratosphere

UAVs Now Reaching The Stratosphere

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The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) announced that its EAV-3, a high-altitude UAV powered by solar cells, succeeded in flying into the stratosphere with the altitude of 14 km above sea level. At the altitude of 14 km, air density amounts to 53 percent of that contained at 10 km, a common altitude for civilian aircraft. The temperature there is also 30 degrees lower. The higher one goes, the lower air density is and temperature falls, which makes flying difficult. On the other hand, the lack of clouds favors sunlight as an energy source.

With its successful flight in the stratosphere, EAV-3 is likely to carry out more diverse tasks that complement artificial satellites, such as real-time close terrestrial observations and telecommunications relays.

EAV-3 is a 100 percent pollution-free aircraft that uses solar cells and secondary cells as energy sources in the stratosphere. Wings are 20 m long and weigh only 53 kg. The KARI has created a safer UAV that flies at high altitude and can remain in the air for a long period of time through the development of the EAV-3. Specifically, the tech is expected to be usable in the design of an ultra-light stiff aircraft structure, the formation of aerial vehicles flying at high altitude, the design of propellers, the control of large UAVs flying at low speeds, and the operation of aerial vehicles for high altitude.

BusinessKorea reports that the research team says it is now planning to acquire tech for solar-powered UAVs capable of remaining in the air at high altitudes for a long period of time in order to carry out tasks in the stratosphere while remaining in the air for several weeks to months.

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