Platforms

Purpose Built for the Stratosphere

The HiDRON is a unique balloon-launched unmanned glider capable of high-altitude flight; autonomous and soaring flight modes; and operates well in the cold stratospheric environment (-60┬░ C).

Once the balloon reaches the target altitude, the HiDRON is released and glides in a controlled descent. The return flight  back to home can be altered in real-time by the operator at the ground station and landing is automatic.

HiDRON Flight graphic controlled descent

We custom integrate instruments within HiDRON power supply, sensors, telemetry, and component heating systems. Data is transmitted in real-time to the ground station and collected. The data set is time-stamped to 10 Hz, collated with GPS location and can be combined with over 200 parameters from the flight mission and other onboard sensors and video images.

HiDRON Ground Control Real-time Interface

Specs:

Available instrument mass is 800 grams and approximate volume is 1,200 cm3. The glider airframe and instrument bay are customizable to meet requirements of different scientific instruments. HiDRON platforms for larger instruments are currently in development.

Payload Capacity ~ 800 g
Payload Volume ~ 1200 cm3
Multiple Pitot Tubes
Payload Interfaces: UART, RS485, RS232, CAN
Glider Airframe – Composite┬ácarbon fiber and fiberglass construction
Weight is about 4 kg (dependent on battery requirements)
Wingspan 3.4 m
Communication via radio telemetry with a range of 100 km
Real-time data transmission, 256 bps
Iridium Satellite Link provides a back-up communication system
GPS Receiver
Transponder
Laser Altimeter
Wing and Tail Video Cameras
Pre-flight Hi-res Weather Forecast
Parachute
Double-redundant balloon release system

Field-tested to an Altitude of 25km (82,021 ft)

HiDRON Applications:

  • Ka-band link testing
  • Phased array ground station validation
  • High-altitude in-situ observation
  • Targeted ozonesonde and radiosonde data collection
  • Ground truth in the air sensor calibration/validation
  • Aerosol measurements
  • Greenhouse gas and trace gas profiling
  • Ice clouds and water vapour measurements
  • Radiation profiles
  • High-altitude instrument test-bed