Solar powered UAV for fire prevention and planning
This project aims to develop a methodology for designing and conducting a systems engineering analysis to build and fly continuously, day and night, propelled uniquely by solar energy for one week with a 0.25Kg payload consuming 0.5 watt without fuel or pollution.
An airplane able to fly autonomously for many days could find many applications. Including coastal or border surveillance, atmospherical and weather research and prediction, environmental, forestry, agricultural, and oceanic monitoring, imaging for the media and real-estate industries, etc.
Additional advantages of solar airplanes are their low cost and the simplicity with which they can be launched. For example, in the case of potential forest fire risks during a warm and dry period, swarms of solar airplanes, easily launched with the hand, could efficiently monitor a large surface, reporting rapidly any fire starts. This would allow a fast intervention and thus reduce the cost of such disaster, in terms of human and material losses. At higher dimension, solar HALE platforms are expected to play a major role as communication relays and could replace advantageously satellites in a near future.
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