Airbus recently announced the Zephyr T, a solar-powered drone that could spend years flying high, roams the stratosphere and may replace expensive satellites.
The company’s initiative would mean that it’s flying in the right direction where these autonomous drones would execute all of the current satellite functions in a lower cost and could potentially operate much longer periods than satellites and could only occasionally return for power and tech upgrades.
Airbus have been developing pseudo satellites back in 2008, and made a world record with Zephyr 7 in 2010 flying for 14 days without refueling.
These solar-powered drones could be used for emergency communications, military monitoring and even for high-speed internet connection.
The company works for its endurance issue since solar-powered objects only works when there is Sun.