According to Airbus experts, the Zephyr’s batteries perform so well that it is calculated that it could orbit in the stratosphere for half a year.
Airbus has been tweaking its Zephyr solar-powered drone for a long time. The device was unveiled in 2018 and has already set several individual records, most recently 25 days in the air. The company has now announced that it has successfully completed two missions lasting 18 days, and will soon be in the air for up to six months. According to Sky News, Airbus’ solar-powered aircraft will fly in the stratosphere, higher than airplanes but lower than satellites. It is planned to beam internet to parts of the world where such services are not available or are of poor quality.
Jana Rosenmann, head of Airbus’ unmanned aircraft division, says the Zephyr’s batteries are performing very well. The current target is to keep the solar-powered aircraft in the air for three months, but the team calculates that six months does not seem an impossible goal.
According to Unicef 2020 data, two-thirds of the world’s children, or around 1.3 billion people, do not have internet access at home, putting them at a serious disadvantage in the digital society, in education and later in the labour market. A service that can bring the internet to any part of the world would be of great help to them. According to the paper, Zephyr could be used for military purposes as well as civilian purposes.
Source: Sky News