Aurora Flight Sciences has developed a solar-powered UAV called Odysseus for climate and atmospheric research.
Odysseus is a long endurance, high-altitude system that utilises advanced solar cells for power and is built with lightweight materials. The system can autonomously remain on station indefinitely, enabling communication and data gathering over a specific location. It can receive payload and hardware options and can be quickly customised, re-tasked and re-located as missions evolve.
Odysseus will provide researchers with long-term, high-resolution observation capabilities as it can measure vegetation, ice coverage and flow rates, and even ground moisture. It will also be able to track and measure the movement of severe weather events for weather and storm monitoring during peak seasons.
In addition to climate and atmospheric research, Odysseus can also be used for a range of missions and operations across communication, connectivity and intelligence.
Odysseus’ first flight is scheduled for the spring of 2019.