The AirStrato is a Romanian response to the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) industry need for a low-cost commercial Medium- and High-Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE / HALE) air vehicle. It is powered through electrical and solar means coupled to an aerodynamically-refined shape. Flight testing has been ongoing since late-2014 through the New Mexico State University's testing facility with production planned in the United States for sometime in 2015.
The AirStrato series will encompass two distinct production models to cover the medium and high altitude categories. The mid-level variant, known as "Pioneer" (available 2016), will feature a ceiling up to 26,000 feet with a 45 kilogram mission payload and 12-meter wingspan. Its endurance is slated for 20 hours of flight time. The high-level model, named "Explorer", will reach a ceiling of 60,000 feet and hold a greater Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) for a broader mission scope. Its wingspan is 16 meters.
The base design approach incorporates a straight wing mainplane set at midships. The nose section is chined and bulbous, containing the avionics fit. Propulsion is by way of six small, electrically-powered, two-bladed propeller units (Robbe 8085/10 electric motors developing 44 lb thrust each) seated along the mainplane trailing edges. A series of solar cells cover the mainplanes feed onboard batteries. The tailplane is made up of a paired, outward canted arrangement with large downward-cranked tips. Communications relies on satellite or GSM.
As a cost-effective alternative to more complex systems currently in market (or in active development), the AirStrato line will support pneumatic catapult-launching (through the proprietary compact "Accelerator" catapult stand) and parachute recovery. The air system will also support a wheeled, three-point undercarriage for more conventional landings.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
23.0 ft (7.00 m)
52.5 ft (16.00 m)
408 lb (185 kg)
551 lb (250 kg)
+143 lb (+65 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base ARCA AirStrato production variant)
6 x Robbe 8085/10 electric motors developing 44 lb propulsion power each.
None. This UAV is being designed with commercial applications in mind.
AirStrato - Base Series Name
Explorer - 16-meter wingspan; 20hr endurance with 45kg payload; 60,000 foot service ceiling.
Pioneer - 12-meter wingspan; 12hr endurance with 45kg payload; 26,000 foot service ceiling.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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