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HiDRON stratospheric glider UAS reaches new 30km height
Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Stratodynamics and UAVOS are excited to announce their pioneering flight of the HiDRON stratospheric glider. The HiDRON successfully reached a new altitude of 30 km (98,450 feet) breaking their previous 25km record. The flight demonstrated the team's capability to perform beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations with a UAV at high altitudes.

The August 2nd night flight was the first of two flights commissioned to test a new AMON Airglow detector from Stratodynamics client, the Slovak Academy of Sciences Institute of Experimental Physics.

This international collaboration is the culmination of 7 months of planning between Stratodynamics and lead physicists, Pavol Bobik, Simon Mackovjak, and UAV pioneer, UAVOS. The Slovakian team was searching for a cost effective method to allow the AMON Airglow detector to have a clear view of the zenith and the nadir while unencumbered by a weather balloon. The AMON is planned to be an ancillary instrument for EUSO-SPB2 (Extreme Universe Space Observatory) mission that will fly on a long duration NASA balloon flight in 2022.

The HiDRON offered the perfect solution for the campaign as it's programmable flight path back enabled an unobstructed view upwards from the stratosphere, and returned the valuable instrument back to the launch location.

All went according to plan with the UAVOS ground crew in the early hours of Thursday August 2nd as the HiDRON was lifted by balloon to the 30km target altitude and released in -60° C (-76° F) stratospheric winds. Despite the harsh environment, the HiDRON performed well with real time data transmitting to the ground station during the 4 hour controlled descent.

In addition to the AMON detector, Stratodynamics and UAVOS used the flight opportunity to test and advance aspects of the HiDRON design including stratospheric flight dynamics, data links, and UAVOS' Micro Version AP10.3 auto-pilot.

STRATODYNAMICS acknowledges funding contributions from LOOKNorth to demonstrate BVLOS technology for unmanned systems.

A second AMON flight is scheduled for August 31 from the Canadian Space Agency's STRATOS Balloon Base in Timmins, Ontario. This time the glider will be released from the Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) scientific gondola at an altitude of 35 km, a new milestone for the HiDRON. The data collected during Timmins flight in 2019 will be used for comparison with the results from EUSO-Balloon mission that operated in the same region in 2014. This campaign represents a first in North America for a stratospheric glider releasing from a scientific gondola.

Contact details from our directory:
Stratodynamics Aviation Inc. Airframer
UAVOS Inc Automatic Flight Control Systems, Servoactuators, Autopilots, Airframer, Gimbal Systems, Whole Aircraft Parachutes
Related aircraft programs:
Stratodynamics HiDRON