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Proceedings Paper

Remote sensing with high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles
Author(s): Basil S. Papadales; Timothy A. Tibbetts; Susan M. Schoenung; Wayne R. Meier
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Paper Abstract

An overview of the evolution of high altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is presented. The new generation of small high altitude, long endurance (HALE) UAVs that will be available to carry remote sensing payloads is described. These aircraft are quite small by historical standards, but can carry payloads of 200 lb for 40 hours at 65,000 ft altitude. Small aircraft size results in several payload design issues and potential operational limitations, which are discussed. Evolutionary technological improvements are shown to have the potential to increase endurance, to perhaps 80 hours with small HALE UAVs. Substantially longer endurance will require much higher aircraft and payload reliability, as well as the use of advanced propulsion systems. Substantially more development and operations analysis is needed to determine if these concepts can result in systems with useful performance and operational flexibility, as well as having reasonable costs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 December 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2023, Airborne Reconnaissance XVII, (20 December 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.165531
Show Author Affiliations
Basil S. Papadales, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
Timothy A. Tibbetts, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
Susan M. Schoenung, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
Wayne R. Meier, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2023:
Airborne Reconnaissance XVII
Paul A. Henkel; Thomas W. Augustyn; Wallace G. Fishell, Editor(s)

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