QinetiQ has announced that its Zephyr, High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft has been shortlisted for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards, 2011.
The Zephyr platform is a flagship UK-developed technology which has already achieved a world record for flight endurance of 14 days, 22 minutes, 8 seconds, in 2010, This achievement saw the 22 metre wing span Zephyr craft remain aloft for over two weeks and soar to altitudes in excess of 70,000 feet.
Using solar power and state of the art rechargeable batteries and with a total mass of only 50kg, the Zephyr is capable of hosting commercial communications and remote camera payloads for months at a time. It promises formidable advantages in defences and security roles as diverse as persistent wide area communications relay, missile detection, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and maritime patrol.
This remarkable vehicle combines world leading aerodynamics, structures, power generation/storage and advanced payloads to provide the only platform capable of truly persistent performance. 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.
Neville Salkeld, Managing Director, Technology Solutions Group at QinetiQ commented:
“We feel very honoured to have reached this stage of the IET Innovation Awards process, which in itself is testament to the commitment, specialist know-how and expertise of the whole Zephyr team, based at QinetiQ in Farnborough. We continue to see significant interest for the proven Zephyr platform in a wide range of markets where its continual operation and low cost provide a compelling business case.”
The prestigious Awards Dinner is taking place on 9th November 2011 at The Intercontinental Hotel, London and the Zephyr programme has been selected with four other entrants under the Emerging Technologies category.
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.
Digital images in high resolution are available from the Press Office on the number below
For further information, please contact
QinetiQ Press Office on Tel: +44 (0) 1252 39 3500