ICARUS partner performs first-ever autonomous flight in 26-hours SAR mission

Credits: ETH

One year after having demonstrated the 81-hours continuous solar-powered flight that is still the current world record in flight endurance for all aicrafts, the AtlantikSolar UAV has complteted its next milestone by demonstrating the first-ever fully-autonomous solar-powered perpetual flight in a 26-hours Search-and-Rescue mission. 

The 26-hours flight was started in Hinwil, Switzerland with full batteries. The launch was performed fully autonomously. Affet all system checks were complete, the aircraft was tossed in the air via a hand-launch and then continued automatically and without pilot interaction towards its first loitering waypout. 

As visible in the video, the payload system clearly manages to find the victim lying in low grass (and surrounding houses, tents, cars, the streets and especially the warm electric generator) at 23:05 o’clock. The victim detection was performed manually by the ground station operator based on the live-streamed images this time. However, the next AtlantikSolar test flight will have automatic on-board victim detection implemented. 

More information here