One year after having demonstrated the 81-hour continuous solar-powered flight that is still the current world record in flight endurance for all aircrafts < 50kg total mass, the AtlantikSolar UAV has completed its next milestone by demonstrating the first-ever fully autonomous (from launch to landing) solar-powered perpetual flight with significant payload (Color + Thermal Camera) in a 26-hour Search-and-Rescue (SaR) mission.
Two weeks after demonstrating AtlantikSolar’s first 24-hour flight, the fixed-wing team of ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab has reached another milestone: 81.5 hours and 2316 km of continuous flight for its 6.8kg AtlantikSolar 2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (AS-2). This breaks the flight endurance world record in its class.
Our colleagues at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at EPFL just sent us a fun video of Santa riding a fixed-wing robot and loosing a present. Luckily, the present can autonomously find its way to its destination.