Hyderabad, December 22:
BrightStar Group, an Israeli firm engaged in defence and aviation businesses, is set to launch its first in a series of solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs), early next year.
The company is engaged in parleys with potential buyers in India and other markets, for these UAVs that fly for years during day and night without any fuel requirement as they are solar-powered.
Jonathan Lison, Managing Director of BrightStar Group, said, “The first of this unmanned solar vehicle, to be ready by early 2016, will have a wing span of about 22 metres and be priced at about $1.5-2.0 million. This will be followed with several other models, with larger wing span and different capabilities.”
The global market for such UAVs in 2014 was estimated to be about $2.91 billion.
During an exclusive interaction with BusinessLine earlier this month, Jonathan Lison had said this was the beginning of a long journey with the new generation of solar unmanned aerial vehicles. “We will produce such UAVs with different configurations, capabilities and sizes based on the applications. Apart from internal security, they can be used for border surveillance and telecommunications in rural parts,” he explained.
He said these UAVs could fly long and possibly for a few years without having to land. They can fly in an area covering a radius of about 40 km and can carry a payload of up to 50 kg.
As far as their diversified utility is concerned, they can be deployed on top of a city, over a rural area and for military surveillance over a border of 1,000 km back and forth. These UAVs can range from 20 metres and go up to 45 meters in wing span; the latter being the same as that of a big plane.
As they are solar-powered, the power generated is used in flight during the day and also stored in batteries for use in the night.
The only time they are required to touch down is for maintenance. “We believe they can run for up to 5 years without any difficulty,” he said.