UAVOS and Stratodynamics have announced that their HiDRON stratospheric glider successfully reached and flew from an altitude of 30 kilometers (98,450 feet), which broke their previous record of 25 kilometers in the process.
“During the flight, a new AMON Airglow detector from the Slovak Academy of Sciences Institute of Experimental Physics was tested.” UAVOS and Stratodynamics also used this flight as an opportunity to test and advance several aspects of the HiDRON design including stratospheric flight dynamics, data links, and UAVOS’ Autopilot.
“HiDRON is a real solution to advancing the important research around climate change and other atmospheric chemistry problems,” says UAVOS Board Member and CEO Aliaksei Stratsilatau.
“HiDRON provides solutions to tough problems that affect all of humankind, which is why it is such a capable and necessary platform for researchers.”
This flight was a result of seven months of planning between the entities. According to UAVOS, the Slovakian team was looking for a cost effective method that would allow the AMON Airglow detector to have a clear view of the zenith and the nadir while unencumbered by a weather balloon.
UAVOS notes that the AMON is expected to be an ancillary instrument for the EUSO-SPB2 mission that will fly on a long duration NASA balloon in 2022.
Everything went as planned for this flight, as the UAVOS ground crew used a balloon to lift the HiDron to the 30-kilometer target altitude and release it in -76 degrees Fahrenheit stratospheric winds. The UAS performed well in the harsh environment, as real time data was transmitted to the ground station during a four-hour controlled descent.
UAVOS says that a second AMON Airglow flight—this time from the Canadian Space Agency’s STRATOS Balloon Launch facility in Timmins, Ontario—is tentatively scheduled for the end of August. During that flight, the glider will be released from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) scientific gondola at an altitude of 35 kilometers, which will be a new milestone for the HiDRON.
UAVOS adds that this campaign will be the first time in North America that a stratospheric glider is released from a scientific gondola. The data collected from this flight will be compared with the results from the EUSO-Balloon mission that operated in the same region in 2014.
“We are extremely pleased with the performance and outcome of this recent 30 km milestone. Our unique method of collecting high-quality large datasets from hard to reach locations offers clients new, cost effective access to stratospheric altitudes,” says Gary Pundsack, CEO Stratodynamics Aviation Inc.
For more information visit www.uavos.com