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Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

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Timmymagic
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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 06 Sep 2018, 08:12

Ron5 wrote:Looks like one good sneeze and it would all fall apart.


It does a bit, but surviving for 25 days at 70,000ft is quite impressive.

Whats interesting now is why Airbus is building 4 for themselves, not sure if they're going to be doing a leased service, further trials for their own ends or if they're building a number as they're really confident of some sales. I don't expect we'll hear much at all about the trials at Woomera (presuming that is its destination in Australia).

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Sep 2018, 08:20

RE: the above. Has there been any switching of the orders, between the two sizes? And which one is Airbus building into "ready" stock?

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 06 Sep 2018, 10:34

ArmChairCivvy wrote:stock?


No mention of the size, but there hasn't been an announcement about building Zephyr T so I think its safe to assume that they're all Zephyr S. I suspect it wouldn't make much sense to build a T until the initial tests on the S have been undertaken. But building 4 for themselves is a vote of confidence in it.

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Phil R
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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Phil R » 06 Sep 2018, 11:16

Has anyone seen any footage of Zephyr S landing / recovery?
I suspect it would be a low speed belly landing.

Phil R

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 06 Sep 2018, 11:20

[quote="Phil R"]Has anyone seen any footage of Zephyr S landing / recovery?
I suspect it would be a low speed belly landing.

Phil R[/quote

I've not seen any of Zephyr S, I do remember some footage of the previous version coming in to land, but that was a different beast.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Oct 2018, 10:29

Airbus decided to build some into own inventory... and now takers are coming out of the woodwork:
"The US Army Futures Command is interested in buying Airbus' Zephyr S HAPS system. The new group is the Army's fourth command and is tasked with driving the service into the future to achieve clear overmatch in future conflicts. The command wants to use the high-altitude pseudo-satellite for a variety of missions, including as military, security and civil missions and acting as a communication hub. The Zephyr is built out of carbon fibre composite materials and is solar powered. The drone set the world record for flight endurance in July after staying aloft using solar cells for 25 days 23h 57min. Willie Nelson, the Futures Command's director, told Flight Global “I think they are an incredible capability that we should continue to invest [science and technology] dollars into research and development". The UK has currently three Zephyrs on order. They will provide British troops with battlefield intelligence and surveillance. The US Army currently has no funded program to acquire high-altitude UAVs." from DID of today

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 12 Oct 2018, 13:28

Here's the link to the Flight Global article.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... yr-452551/

I suspect that flying the Zephyr around White Sands has rather got the US military's attention. Funding the purchase and operation of 2 or 3 of them for trials purposes is chump change for them. I rather suspect they'll be leasing or making a buy in the next year or 2. Probably after they see the data from the trials in Woomera.

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 26 Nov 2018, 14:18

Looks like BAE are moving forward with their collaboration for a solar powered HAPS.


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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 26 Nov 2018, 14:23

More details here...most of the senior team at Prismatic are from the QinetiQ Zephyr team or from SSTL. Looks very serious...they're based in Farnborough as well, looks like that will be a hub for the solar powered UAV industry.

https://www.baesystems.com/en/article/s ... for-a-year

http://prismaticltd.co.uk/products/phasa-35/

With a 15kg payload and a planned mission duration of 1 year, this could also be the impetus for Airbus to move forward with the Zephyr T, with its 20kg payload, and to keep pushing the Zephyr flight duration onwards and upwards. A bit of healthy competition could really move things forward even faster. And thats really good news. No news on Zephyr in Australia, like the Taranis flight testing there I suspect we'll hear little for a long time...

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 26 Nov 2018, 17:18

Timmymagic wrote:Airbus to move forward with the Zephyr T, with its 20kg payload


Have there been any takers for the 'base' model that they were producing into inventory under their own funding?

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 26 Nov 2018, 21:28

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Have there been any takers for the 'base' model that they were producing into inventory under their own funding?


None announced as far as I can tell. But if Airbus were confident enough to build some for stock....I suspect the Australians and US will be attending and following the trials at Woomera very closely. I'm surprised now its under the Airbus banner that the French haven't come calling. They would make an awful lot of sense over Mali and the C.A.R.
Airbus did also talk about a leased service as well, we might see them on some science missions in due course.

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 03 Dec 2018, 12:37




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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 08 Dec 2018, 20:48

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Have there been any takers for the 'base' model that they were producing into inventory under their own funding?


"Marks the start of various Zephyr flight campaigns to be undertaken from the site with different customers"

One is definitely the UK. I wouldn't be surprised if Australia is one as well. Zephyr would be ideal for patrolling/operating in the north and monitoring Australias colossal maritime eez up there. It might have had something to do with the placement of Airbus' base.


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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Dec 2018, 21:37

Timmymagic wrote:various Zephyr flight campaigns to be undertaken from the site with different customers"

One is definitely the UK. I wouldn't be surprised if Australia is one as well.


The wording almost makes me think that the ones owned directly are for 'hire'?

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 09 Dec 2018, 18:43

ArmChairCivvy wrote:The wording almost makes me think that the ones owned directly are for 'hire'?


Yes that's definitely the case. Airbus have mentioned that they will be operating some themselves as a leased service. I suspect that Australia will observe the trials closely, but will actually buy a couple. Tie them in with the JORN and they make a very interesting surveillance capability for their far north. Wyndham is obviously perfectly sited environmentally for further Zephyr trials. But is almost perfect for an Australian service use as well.

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 12 Feb 2019, 12:07

Gone a bit quiet on Zephyr at the mo, which is usually the prelude for some extensive testing success.

However.....another UK solar powered persistent drone is breaking cover...


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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 12 Feb 2019, 12:14

67,000ft operating altitude, 90 day flight duration, 149kg total weight with a 25kg payload. Based in Bridgwater, Somerset at the old Facebook Aquila drone project building. Apparently the projects aren't related, but I suspect some of the people involved are from Zephyr..OS own 51% of the company.

And it looks like they're already flying a test article for launch tests.

For Double Decker Bus measurement fans its wingspan is longer than 3 placed end to end...no confirmation on sausages or rashers of bacon at present....



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47196898

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 12 Feb 2019, 13:17

And in LEO satellites,
"UK now leading world in niche field of HAPS super-drones #avgeek"

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 12 Feb 2019, 13:48

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Unread postby ArmChairCivvy » 12 Feb 2019, 13:17

And in LEO satellites,
"UK now leading world in niche field of HAPS super-drones #avgeek"


This, SSTL and the Orbex small rocket facility in the Cairngorms really works out as a very useful capability to the UK, which has come out of nowhere in the last few years. Given the Chinese clear interest in anti-satellite capabilities the NRO in the US is getting VERY interested in small, low cost satellites...which is good news for the likes of SSTL who really are the world leaders.

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 03 Apr 2019, 21:48

Competition for Zephyr is heating up, and thats always a good thing. Hopefully this will force Airbus' hand on developing Zephyr T. They're going to need it to compete with Phasa 35.

Prismatic's Phasa 35, developed with BAE, quarter scale test vehicle has gone airborne at Warton. Might struggle for sunshine around these parts...


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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Apr 2019, 04:04

Timmymagic wrote:Given the Chinese clear interest in anti-satellite capabilities the NRO in the US is getting VERY interested in small, low cost satellites

India just bumped one of their own off (what idiots, as if there isn't enough of space rubble up there already :think: )
Timmymagic wrote: Might struggle for sunshine around these parts...

As long as there is enough power to reach the operating altitude...

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 04 Apr 2019, 09:32

ArmChairCivvy wrote:As long as there is enough power to reach the operating altitude...


There is some truth in that, but its also fair to say solar powered UAV's struggle in higher latitudes. Development of solar arrays and batteries, plus more efficient motors and designs will bridge that gap somewhat but at the moment its still a significant operating restriction.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Apr 2019, 23:58

Timmymagic wrote:bridge that gap

What's the last word on hydrogen?

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Timmymagic » 16 Apr 2019, 13:52

Had to happen sooner or later...apparently weather related. No word on how serious the crash but apparently happened during or shortly after takeoff.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airb ... SKCN1RN0QD

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Re: Airbus Zephyr - HAPS

Postby Garlath » 17 Apr 2019, 14:04

For those who (understandably) weren’t convinced at the possibility of radar on HAPS...

https://ceoi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/d ... _Munro.pdf

(Lots of other interesting U.K. tech also on display across the rest of that website)


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