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Wed, Oct 09, 2013

Solar-Powered UAV Could Stay Aloft For Five Years

Titan Aerospace Introduced The Solara Series At AUVSI

They're being called "atmospheric satellites." Titan Aerospace introduced the Solara series of solar-powered UAVs at AUVSI this year. The aircraft are designed to stay aloft at FL650 for as long as five years without returning to Earth.

The blog Breaking Defense reports that the larger Solara 60 has a 160 foot wingspan and could carry a payload of as much as 250 pounds. Its solar panels would recharge its batteries during the day to keep the aircraft aloft at night, as well as supply up to 100 watts of power, enough to operate some of the largest electro-optical sensors currently on the market. The Solara 50 could carry as much as 70 pounds, according to the Titan website.

The company is currently marketing to disaster management and other civilian agencies, but the defense applications are obvious as well. CBS News reports that Titan says the airplane would have a cruising speed of 65 miles per hour and a range of over 2.8 million miles.

Titan says on its website that it has taken orders for one of the Solara 60 aircraft, as well as a three for the Solara 50.

The company says the aircraft can also be configured to provide 4G cellular phone service for large areas, which would be helpful in case of a natural disaster.

(Solara 60 image provided by Titan Aerospace)

FMI: http://titanaerospace.com/

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