Report: BAE Systems Satellite drone completes maiden stratospheric flight - M5 Dergi
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Report: BAE Systems Satellite drone completes maiden stratospheric flight

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BAE Systems has completed the first stratospheric trial of the High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite Uncrewed Aerial System (PHASA-35) at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The test is part of a 2018 project with BAE segment Prismatic to develop a “persistent and stable” pseudo-satellite drone that can operate above the weather and conventional air traffic.

During the demonstration, experts evaluated PHASA-35’s capabilities according to various criteria.

Additional trials will verify other test points required for the experimental system to be deployed on the international defense and commercial markets.

“The successful trials are a testament to the hard work of the fantastic team that we have built over the last couple of years within Prismatic and across our partner companies,” Prismatic CEO Dave Corfield said. “I look forward to the next steps as we develop this unique system.”


PHASA-35 has a 35-meter (114.8 feet) wingspan and can carry up to 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of payload.

It has solar electric cells, advanced composites, an energy management system, and photo-voltaic arrays for sustained power even on night-flight missions.

Future applications of the ultra-light vehicle include airspace security and “ultra-long” endurance intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

The PHASA-35 effort is being facilitated under BAE’s FalconWorks, an advanced research and development program for airspace innovations to support the UK’s and partner nations’ combat capabilities.

“PHASA-35 is breaking new ground — opening up the stratosphere to new possibilities,” BAE Systems Air Sector Managing Director Cliff Robson stated.

“The team, which brings together BAE Systems’ know-how from across the globe with innovative solar and power management technologies, demonstrated tremendous commitment and ambition as they tackled the challenges associated with novel technologies and approaches.”

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