1000 Solutions - August 8, 2019

h-aero®, a solar-powered helium Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

- Photo by h-aero

Written by Tristan Lebleu 3 min read

This solution is safer, offers superior flight endurance, and can carry a larger relative load than conventional drones.

Is it a plane? A helicopter? A balloon? Actually, it is all of these. h-aero® is a new concept of flying object which combines the advantages of all three types of aerial vehicles, without their disadvantages.

This Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can take-off vertically, it can steer forwards, backwards or sideways thanks to 180-degree rotatable wings, and it can stay aloft thanks to its helium-filled lens. But most importantly, it is powered by renewable energy: just like Solar Impulse, h-aero® is equipped with solar cells which can make it fly for days or even months.

This new flying concept was created by Csaba Singer and Christian Schultze in December 2016 with an ambitious goal: “to become the most innovative, sustainable aerial carrier vehicle for applications in reconnaissance, exploration and communication within the commercial market segment”.

Indeed, thanks to its unique characteristics and its capacity to carry payloads, h-aero® can be applied to use cases where other aircrafts can not be used. It is perfectly suited for industrial applications such as the inspection of tunnels and pits, power plants or chimneys.

Outdoors, the h-aero® is perfect to monitor large agricultural areas, or to explore and observe terrains which might otherwise not be accessible, or only accessible with high safety risks, such as remote jungles.

“The h-aero® can also be used as a terrestrial satellite in the stratosphere and replace telecommunications satellites. This would also reduce the amount of future space debris - our equipment is reusable” said Csaba Singer in an interview with Zeitenvogel.

Use cases for this flying object go as far as Mars exploration. A jury of the NASA Congress on “concepts and approaches for Mars exploration” has recognized the h-aero® as a potential way to explore the Red Planet from above.

Thanks to a vastly reduced environmental impact and a much lower operating cost than comparable systems used today for these applications, the h-aero® has been granted the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label in June 2018.

Written by Tristan Lebleu on August 8, 2019

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