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September 11 2013

Will Solar-Powered UAVs Replace Satellites?


Satellites, regardless of their function, are expensive. Between development, launch costs, and maintenance a single satellite can cost millions of dollars to keep in orbit. However, in a bid to change the rules of the satellite game Titan Aerospace has introduced a new high altitude UAV to replace conventional satellites.

Named the Solera, the solar-powered UAV has a massive 50 m (164 ft) wingspan, attached to its 15.5 m (54 ft) body. The entire craft, which weighs only 159 kg (350 lbs), is covered with some 3,000 solar cells allowing it to produce 7 kW of power during daylight hours.

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