NRL TESTS AU­TONOMOUS ‘SOAR­ING WITH SO­LAR’ CON­CEPT

SP's Aviation - - NEWS DIGEST -

The So­lar Pho­to­voltaic (PV) and Au­tonomous Soar­ing Base Pro­gramme and the US Ma­rine Corps’ Ex­pe­di­tionary En­ergy Of­fice want to im­prove the abil­ity of UAVs to sup­port 24 x 7 in­for­ma­tion, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance (ISR) mis­sions. Re­searchers at the US Naval Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory (NRL), Ve­hi­cle Re­search Sec­tion and Pho­to­voltaic Sec­tion are build­ing on the proven con­cept of au­tonomous co­op­er­a­tive soar­ing of UAVs. Their re­search in­ves­ti­gates the presence of so­lar PV to the co­op­er­a­tive au­tonomous soar­ing tech­niques, which en­ables long-en­durance flights of un­manned sailplanes that use the power of the sun. By do­ing so, the warfighter will greatly ben­e­fit be­cause it will re­duce the amount of batteries or fuel they must carry into bat­tle, and im­prove the avail­abil­ity of con­tin­u­ous cov­er­age of ISR as­sets.

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