A NEW FRONTIER IN HIGH-ALTITUDE IN-SITU ATMOSPHERIC DATA COLLECTION
What is the HiDRON?
A Semi-autonomous glider utilizing NASA-developed lightweight sensing and control systems.
Introducing the HiDRON™, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed specifically for high-altitude in-situ environmental data collection.
The HiDRON™ is launched to the stratosphere via a helium-filled balloon. Once launched the autopilot and integrated atmospheric measurement system transmit data in real-time to a ground station. After reaching the desired altitude (or as directed by an operator on the ground) the HiDRON is released from the balloon and glides back to a pre-specified landing site. Unique autopilot flight algorithms can process in-situ data such as thermal or wave conditions, to increase flight duration or focus the flight path to specific areas.
Landing is fully automatic, and the autopilot selects one of the pre-specified landing sites. HiDRON™ communication to the ground station is maintained via the telemetry system and backup satellite link. In addition, emergency flight modes ensure flight safety.
Currently, atmospheric measurement equipment is also lifted to high altitudes by balloons. However, once the balloon bursts the equipment descends quickly by parachute and drifts uncontrolled. Often the equipment is lost or damaged and has high retrieval costs. The HiDRON™ extends the data collection period on the descent and brings the equipment back.
The $13-billion global environmental sensing and monitoring market is forecast to grow by 6% over the next 3 years.
Applications for the HiDRON™ include:
- Climate change research
- Satellite Cal/Val
- Ground based sensor calibration
- Aerosol evaluation
- Extreme weather observation
- Aerial thermal imaging
- Expanded range of weather data collection
- Sea ice observation
COST COMPETITIVE / YIELDS MORE DATA / RE-DEPLOYABLE / CUSTOMIZABLE
LAUNCH * RETURN * REPEAT