Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Australia chosen as base for solar-powered drone

airbus zephyr drone

Wyndham airfield in Western Australia has been chosen as the first base site for Airbus’ solar-powered Zephyr unmanned aircraft.

Airbus' selection of the WA site makes Wyndham the world’s first operational site for the launch and recovery of the class of unmanned aircraft known as high altitude pseudo-satellites (HAPS). The aircraft is extremely lightweight and makes virtually zero noise as it leaves and returns to its base.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The Zephyr S, which will fly at Wyndham, is the production version of the earlier Zephyr 7 aircraft, which set the world record for 14 days continuous flight in 2010. It weighs less than 75 kilograms and flies by charging its batteries from sunlight during the day and maintaining its high altitude at night, all under control from the ground.

Airbus will begin flights of the Zephyr at Wyndham in the second half of this year. Wyndham will serve as the launch and recovery site for Zephyr, which typically flies for days or weeks at a time without landing and operates at very high altitudes, far above even commercial airliners.

Approximately 20 Airbus employees will be based in the local area during operations.

Tony Fraser, managing director of Airbus Australia Pacific, said the West Australian site offers an ideal airspace for its operations.

SPONSORED CONTENT

 

"We are extremely grateful to the government of Western Australia and the Shire of Wyndham and East Kimberly for their support of the Zephyr program," Fraser said.

"The combination of that support, largely unrestricted airspace and reliable weather make Wyndham an ideal location for these operations."

The Zephyr operates at more than 65,000 feet, above weather systems, for weeks at a time. The first production aircraft are being manufactured at Farnborough, UK. Airbus said it is capable of providing persistent surveillance over land or sea, and hosting communications links for civil or military purposes.

As well as for military operations, Zephyrs can be used for humanitarian missions, precision farming guidance, environmental and security monitoring, and to provide internet coverage to regions of poor or zero connectivity.

Australia chosen as base for solar-powered drone
Airbus-Zephyr-drone.jpg
lawyersweekly logo

more from defence connect

Jocko Willink
Dec 12 2019
PODCAST: Extreme ownership – John Gretton “Jocko” Willink
John Gretton “Jocko” Willink is a retired US Navy SEAL officer, highly rated podcast host, estab...
Dec 12 2019
On Point: It’s time for a national security strategy
Major General Jim Molan has called for Australia to implement a tailor-made strategy for defence and...
Dec 12 2019
At-sea nuclear deterrent submarines top priority for US Navy
As Russia, China and the UK all embark on a modernisation of the seaborne leg of their nuclear arsen...
FROM THE WEB
Recommended by Spike Native Network