Judy Nagel, Envision Board and Upward Mobility Signals Team
When you think of a drone, how high do you imagine it going, and how long do you imagine it staying in the air? Did you realize that the new “pseudo-satellite” drones can soar to heights of more than 60,000 feet and stay up there for months? That’s the report from Alistair MacDonald in The Wall Street Journal, which labeled such drones the “innovation of the week” recently.
MacDonald reports that a unit of Airbus has already flown its drone, called the Zephyr, more than 13 miles up for 64 days. It’s able to beam down phone coverage for 7500 square kilometers; that’s equivalent to 250 telecom towers on the ground. Still, its height and longevity record might soon be outdone by the U.K.’s BAE Systems, which reports that its solar-powered PHASA-35 drone “is designed to stay in the air for as long as a year.” The craft has a wingspan of 115 feet, “around the same length as a Boeing 737’s but weighs only as much as a typical motorcycle.”
Read more at NBC News.