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Solara Aircraft Could Fly For Years

A New Mexico company, Titan Aerospace has presented a high-altitude solar powered dron that could fly for about five years.

The Solara 50 is under development and will be ready for next year, with the much bigger Solara 60 to follow.

The Solara 50 is powered by 3,000 solar panels producing about 7 kW of electricity and capable of staying in high altitudes for weeks, even years.

While the Solara 50 will have a payload of 70 pounds, the next project in line, the Solara 60, will carry up to 250 pounds.

The company claims the vehicles are capable of carrying telecom, reconnaissance, atmospheric
sensors and other payloads. The Solara can cruise at 65,000 feet at a maximum speed of around 60mph.

According to the Titan Aerospace website “at an altitude of 65,000 ft or 20 km, the Solara
remains above terrestrial weather. A typical launch sequence is initiated just after midnight and the aircraft climbs under its own battery power. The Solara reaches altitude as the sun crests over the horizon and enters its standard day-night cycle.”

Moreover, the company enures “the Solara requires little and gives a lot. From its compelling performance and distinctive flair to its unmatched grace and bar-setting capabilities, the Solara is the ideal platform for environmental monitoring applications.”

To promote this solar powered drone, the company’s marketing message is simple. When persistent coverage is needed, satellites have in the past fit the bill but the upcoming Solara vehicles will be able to perform similar tasks normally reserved for satellites at lower cost.

The Solara planes are also much easier to maintain than space satellites.

Asset tracking, search and rescue, pipeline monitoring, disaster recovery, atmospheric and weather monitoring, and fire monitoring are just some examples of their use.

More information: titanaerospace.com

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