Solar-Powered Drones : China
China’s first fully solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle has successfully completed its maiden test flight with all onboard systems functioning optimally.
- With a wingspan of 164-ft, the drone is a large machine powered entirely by solar panels.
- The high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAV can stay airborne for long durations.
- Named the Qimingxing-50, or Morning Star-50, this drone flies above 20-km altitude where there is stable airflow with no clouds.
- This helps these drones to make the maximum use of solar equipment to stay functional for extended durations.
- The fact that the drone can operate in near-space 20 km to 100 km above the Earth’s surface makes it capable of carrying out satellite-like functions.