Airbus Unveils ‘Zephyr S’ Pseudo-Satellite for ISR Missions

Airbus’ defense and space business has launched at the Farnborough Airshow an unmanned aerial vehicle designed to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

Airbus said Monday it also opened the first production facility for the Zephyr S High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite UAV and named it after Zephyr inventor Chris Kelleher.

Sophie Thomas, head of the Zephyr program at Airbus, said the UAV will work to deliver persistent surveillance and communication capabilities to military and commercial clients and improve wildfire monitoring and other disaster management missions.

Airbus selected Wyndham airfield in Western Australia as its new operating site for the Zephyr S platform that is set to be operational in September.

The solar-powered aircraft, which took off from Arizona as part of its maiden flight, has recorded approximately 1,000 flight hours and has a 25-meter-long wingspan. It operates at an altitude of 70,000 feet in the stratosphere.

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