SolarXOne by XSun's drone can be 100% autonomous during all flight operations, according to the French company.
SolarXOne drone looks a bit like a dragonfly intent on heating a family swimming pool or home. The uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) features a tandem wing design that increases both its lift and the number of solar panels drinking up rays that drive the craft. Though fully sun-powered (and, once converted, electric), the SolarXOne is something of a hybrid vehicle: part airplane, mostly drone, quasi-satellite with the tech punch it carries aboard.
The UAV weighs a total of 25 kg, has a wingspan of 4.5 meters, and maximum payload of 5 kg – which may include gyroscopes, high-performance thermal imaging cameras, LIDAR, and cutting-edge communications tech. With all that, it boasts a daily flight endurance of 600 km, or a nonstop range of 12 hours – day or night, thanks to cells that store solar energy for twilight missions.
Fans of the sf movie Interstellar (2014) will recall the creative use of autonomous drones that flew forever.
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