Solar-electric unmanned air vehicle with the potential to transform the air and space market
PHASA-35 is a novel, ultra-light weight, solar-electric High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) which provides an alternative and flexible approach to conventional systems such as satellites or conventionally powered aircraft for the provision of persistent and cost-effective imagery and communications.
Utilising a range of world-leading technologies including advanced composites, energy management and solar electric cells, photo-voltaic arrays are used to provide energy during the day which is stored in rechargeable cells to maintain ﬂight overnight.
PHASA-35 is designed to provide a persistent, stable platform for monitoring, surveillance, communications and security applications. When connected to other technologies and assets, it will provide both military and commercial customers with capabilities that are not currently available from existing air and space platforms. The UAS also has the potential to be used in the delivery of communications networks including 5G, as well as provide other services, such as disaster relief and border protection, at a fraction of the cost of satellites.
Without the need to refuel, PHASA-35 is able to operate over an area of interest for up to a year, pushing the boundaries of aviation technology.
PHASA-35’s flexible payload design allows for a large and varied range of sensor capabilities to be carried and updated as technology advances, providing an extreme level of persistent coverage over a fixed target area from ISR and communications payloads unlike any conventional platform.
The 35m wingspan solar-electric aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight in 2020 after being designed, built and flown in less than two years.
PHASA-35 can be operated as a pseudo-satellite, without the need for continual management or monitoring, offering:
- Low operating costs
- Global deployment
- Environmentally friendly solution compared to conventional systems
- Flexible payload carriage
- Cost-effective maintenance
Potential Civil, Commercial and Military applications
- Military Communications
- Military surveillance
- Commercial Communications
- Maritime Surveillance
- Civil and Border Security
- Earth Observation
- Environmental Monitoring
- Agricultural Monitoring
PHASA-35 – Series on science
Head to our YouTube channel to find out more about PHASA-35 in our Series on Science with Operations Requirements Advisor Drew Steel. PHASA-35 is a great example of what engineers and technologists can do when they understand science and apply that know-how to finding new solutions to problems.