High-altitude, Solar-powered UAV
Qinetiq (Hall 2B in the UK Pavilion, Stand J13/4) announced it had received a contract from Belgian space systems company Verheart to build a solar-powered, unmanned aircraft designed to fly at 60,000 feet for months at a time. The Pegasus high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (HALE UAV) is part of a €11 million project awarded to Verheart by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research. Flight trials of the HALE UAV are planned to begin next summer. Verheart will provide the ground station, integrate the subsystems, perform final testing at the system level and obtain experimental flight clearances. HALE UAVs could become low-cost alternatives to satellites and manned aircraft surveillance. Qinetiq (pronounced as “kinetic”) was founded in July 2001 from the majority of the UK’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency and today employs nearly 10,000 people.