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Zephyr

Pioneering the Stratosphere

  • Zephyr is the world’s leading solar-electric stratospheric Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), with a wingspan of 25m and weighs less than 75kg. 
  • Having already taken to the stratosphere and breaking multiple world records, Zephyr is an innovative solution currently under development by Airbus.  
  • Zephyr will bring new See, Sense and Connect capabilities to commercial, institutional and military customers
  • Zephyr relies on solar energy, with secondary batteries charged in daylight to power overnight flight. Thanks to this Zephyr’s flight time is carbon neutral. 

The first stratospheric UAS of its kind, Zephyr provides a persistent and adaptable solution, unlike other unmanned aircraft. Its persistence enables a capability of flying continuously for months at a time, at around 70,000ft, above weather and conventional air traffic. It is a HAPS: a High Altitude Platform Station, and is the only HAPS to have demonstrated day/night longevity in the stratosphere.

A representation of the Zephyr High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS).

Why Choose Zephyr?

Zephyr addresses the need for a cost effective way to provide both persistence and wide satellite like reach, along with the accuracy, station keeping and re-tasking flexibility typically inherent in conventional drone systems. 

  • Persistence: Zephyr’s persistent flight is unrivalled, combining the persistence of a geostationary satellite, while maintaining the maneuverability similar to that of a traditional aircraft or UAS. During a 2018 test flight Zephyr achieved a record 25 days, 23 hour and 57 minute endurance, without refueling. 
  • Latency: Zephyr is close enough to ground stations to have little latency and offer a near real-time service
  • Complementary to existing solutions: Filling the gap between ground towers, conventional aircraft and satellites, Zephyr is positioned perfectly to complement and enhance existing infrastructure.
  • Safe and secure: Zephyr has been at the forefront of integration of stratospheric UAS into airspace, gaining civil and military approvals in five countries, across four continents. 
  • Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) Capabilities: After take-off and ascent into the stratosphere within eight hours, Zephyr will navigate to the desired location, which may be hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. Zephyr will be controlled from a Ground Control Stations anywhere in the world using BLOS capabilities.
 

Technical Features

Wingspan: 25m 

Weight: Less than 75kg

Payload: Different levels of payload capability with incremental performance levels 

Zephyr is payload agnostic, compatible with OPAZ, Airbus in-house Earth Observation system designed for the stratosphere that provides 18cm electro-optical and 70cm infra-red imagery and videos. It is compatible with Airbus Intelligence advanced processing capabilities. Zephyr is also able to integrate 3rd party customer supplied payloads. 

Zephyr can support a wide range of payload capabilities, including but not limited to: Electro Optical, Infrared, Hyper spectral, Passive Radio Frequency (RF) Radar, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) radar, Early Warning, Lidar and Automatic Identification System (AIS)

 

Capabilities

Zephyr will bring new See, Sense and Connect capabilities to military, commercial and institutional customers.

 

See & Sense

Zephyr has wide visual payload coverage of 20 by 30km footprint which enables it to provide a range of continuous surveillance to meet mission requirements as well as high resolution imagery and video capture for intelligence gathering. 

Sensors located in the stratosphere can readily detect changes in the environment, gathering more precise data.

SEE with clarity, SENSE with efficiency. Earth observation with the world’s leading solar electric stratospheric UAS

Connectivity

Did you know…?

  • Around four billion people across the globe are unconnected 
  • Zephyr is capable of extending reach and/or capacity of terrestrial networks
  • One Zephyr has the coverage equivalent to that of 250 cell towers

Zephyr has the potential to provide communications to the most unconnected parts of the world. No other aerial solution offers direct to device 4G/5G on a persistent day and night basis, complementary to existing infrastructure. 

 

Connect beyond, with the world’s leading solar electric stratospheric UAS

Zephyr: Connect Beyond

 

Zephyr shapes the future of connectivity. Delivering new services, new business models and new opportunities to the connectivity market. Zephyr is flexible, scalable and connects beyond Read less Read more

Core markets

Military

Military

Commercial

Commercial

Institutional

Institutional

See and Sense
  • Oil and gas
  • Crop monitoring
  • High resolution typography
  • Smart cities

Connectivity

  • Communications LTE bubble
  • Direct to handset
  • Broadband services
  • Cellular backhauling
See and Sense
  • Maritime security persistent ISR
  • Convoy protection
  • Land/coastal border protection
  • SIGINT

Connectivity

  • V/UHF
  • Military LTE bubble
  • Mobile communications/MESH
See and Sense
  • Wild fire monitoring
  • Land administration
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Border protection

Connectivity

  • Distaster recovery
  • ADS-B + voice over ocean

Zephyr scenarios: Maritime Surveillance, Connectivity and Border Security.

 

See with Clarity, Sense with Efficiency, Connect Beyond

Cloud of smoke

See with clarity

Bustling city at night

Sense with efficiency

Military figure connecting with precision

Connect beyond

Zephyr S turning dreams into reality on its maiden flight

 

Airbus' Zephyr S, the No. 1 solar-electric UAV that is pioneering the stratosphere Read less Read more

Video Gallery

Zephyr: Connect Beyond      
Zephyr scenarios      
Zephyr Stage Video 1920x726      
Zephyr Stage Video      
Zephyr S turning dreams into reality on its maiden flight      
Farnborough Airshow 2018: Day 1 highlights      
Zephyr - Social Media - Maiden Flight      
Zephyr - Once in a lifetime      
Zephyr - Never Stop Exploring - Maiden Flight      
Zephyr: Never stop exploring      
Zephyr - the beginning      
Airbus Defence and Space at Farnborough air show 2016      

Photo Gallery

Airbus 50 Years Day 44 Infographic    
First Zephyr Solar High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite operating site    
First Zephyr Solar High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite operating site    
First Zephyr Solar High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite operating site    
Euronaval 2018 – French Parliament    
Airbus: The Kelleher Building    
Zephyr Press conference during the 2018 Farnborough Air Show edition    
Dirk Hoke and Jana Rosenmann during the Zephyr Press conference at the Farnborough Air Show    
Zephyr launch    
Zephyr taking off the skies    
Experience Centre pavilion at ILA Berlin 2018    
HAPS Zephyr in preparation before take-off    
Zephyr HAPS during a stratospheric flight    
Zephyr HAPS in flight    

Infographics

Latest News

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Airbus opens first serial production facility for Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites.

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