Stratospheric Persistent UAS
AeroVironment is developing extreme-endurance stratospheric aircraft to give our customers an affordable capability to establish geostationary stratospheric orbits located a long distance from aircraft launch and recovery locations. These orbits could/can be used for persistent (unblinking) intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and communications relay missions, providing affordable global coverage from a limited number of forward bases.
Flight in the stratosphere enables aircraft to stay above weather and gives an aircraft’s payload a wide area of coverage on the ground. It also reduces threats to the aircraft from ground-based countermeasures. AeroVironment’s system will enable the persistence similar to a geostationary satellite with more operational flexibility and much less cost. Global Observer® is the stratospheric aircraft currently under development and under contract to provide this capability. Global Observer is hydrogen-powered and is designed to have an endurance of several days in the stratosphere.
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