QinetiQ Zephyr® Solar UAS – The world leader in truly persistent, cost-effective airborne surveillance and communications

13 Sep 2011
Zephyr®, the flight proven, solar powered stratospheric unmanned aircraft from QinetiQ which promises formidable advantages in defences and security roles as diverse as persistent wide area communications relay, missile detection, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and maritime patrol, is on display at this year’s DSEi exhibition.
 
The third scale model of the latest Zephyr® Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) is exhibited throughout the DSEi exhibition at hall N3-SD6. Internationally renowned for its FAI World Record-breaking 14 day flight in  July 2010, ten times longer than any other UAV, this remarkable vehicle combines world leading aerodynamics, structures, power generation/storage and advanced payloads to provide the only platform capable of truly persistent performance.
 
The Zephyr® UAS has been developed by QinetiQ to remain airborne for up to three months at a time at altitudes of up to 70,000ft. With a line of sight to the horizon of 325 miles, Zephyr® provides a capable, extremely affordable platform for communications and surveillance purposes over the wide areas typical of current operations.
 
The role of UAS in enhancing war-fighting capability has long been recognised from reconnaissance, surveillance, threat detection and communication links and today there are varied and evolving sensor technologies that are continually evolving to support troops in the field. Zephyr® programme director, Mr Jonathan Dixon, said: “One of the prime objectives for the growing number of potential UAS customers is to provide more capability for less cost over wide areas and several months duration. Zephyr® flies higher, longer, with greater stability, and at a lower cost than any other High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) platform, providing true persistence and more coverage with highly capable C4ISR payloads. We believe that Zephyr® will herald a new era, with stratospheric platforms that can provide capabilities far beyond that of current satellite and aircraft. At QinetiQ, through our work with Zephyr® and across the body of our involvement with UAV technologies, we are working hard to build awareness of this technology’s capabilities and wide-ranging applications, while expanding our Zephyr® capability still further.”
 
Notes for Editors:
A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ's unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments, intelligence services and security agencies.
 
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QinetiQ Zephyr® Solar UAS – The world leader in truly persistent, cost-effective airborne surveillance and communications