It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


UK lab Qinetiq to build a new high-altitude long-endurance UAV called Mercator

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 05:56 AM
Called high-altitude long-endurance (Hale) craft, they can be crucial information-gatherers for disaster management, crop management, coastal management, and mapping; they can be more flexible and cheaper options than low-orbit satellites, particularly for developing nations. ..called "eternal planes". It is hoped that a new Hale UAV vehicle, built by ..a UK defence research lab QinetiQ, will push the boundaries for eternal planes a bit further.

It is called Mercator. It has a wingspan of 16m and a light weight of 27kg. Together with its hi-tech ground station, it makes up the equally grand-sounding project known as Pegasus.

"No one has produced an eternal airplane yet," Andrew Rogoyski, head of QinetiQ's space division explained to the BBC News website.

In 2001, the Nasa-backed Helios reached a record altitude for a non-rocket-powered winged aircraft, climbing to 96,863ft (29.5km), but it crashed in 2003 on a flight from the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

"One of these craft could get anywhere in the world in 24 hours," explains Dr Rogoyski. A UAV will be able to keep up over a particular part of the world for months at a time, whereas satellites have to continue travelling in orbit." Precise, high-quality images and data can be sent back in under 30 minutes to a mobile ground station which can then disseminate images online. We use a lightweight solar array coupled to lithium-based rechargeable batteries. They are incorporated into the carbon fibre airframe which gives us a low-mass structure capable of flying at high altitude. The technology we have right now will enable us to stay up in the air for 60 hours, but we will not be trying that tomorrow," says Dr Davey. "Trials are planned for next year."

Full article/details ...

Hmmm..these guys are always upto something.

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 05:58 AM

^^The Mercator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will be able to fly on its own for months at a time.

^^ The Nasa-backed Helios craft that crashed in 2003

new topics

log in