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Innovative Autonomous Flying Services


In 2017, the market of professional drones is projected to increase to 3,7 billion of euros (Gartner source). Services associated to drones grow up and the autonomy of the machines is optimized. From design offices to operating departments, what are the appropriate devices for collecting data? What applications can be predicted? Which territories can be covered and how long?

We are at a convergence point between aeronautics and aerospace


XSun is a start-up that designs new types of solar UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) for long range which opens doors to continuous flights.

Walking in the footsteps of Bertrand Picard Solar Impulse Adventure, XSun is concentrating and developing innovations from different worlds: Aerospace, Formula-E, Yachting Competition. The objective is the create a machine with the maximum level of autonomy (both in Energy an in Decision) in order to release the full potential of drones.

For XSun, these new automated solar flying machines can only be controlled by aerospace professional’s engineers and aircraft pilots, with a similar approach than Satellites Operations Concepts. We are at a convergence point between aeronautics and aerospace.

First end users will be companies already using services for their daily needs, but their vision is to open these new remote services to new users. These autonomous flying platforms will bring airborne services to several needs:

  • Terrestrial Infrastructures and Networks:  Monitoring of large industrial networks and energy distribution, pipeline, railways and power grids
  • Environmental monitoring:  natural sites, Civil security and search & rescue
  • Agriculture, for monitoring and predictive analysis, optimizing farm operation
  • Maritime border surveillance, monitoring and detection of species

Their approach is based on a multi-configuration payload solar UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) with an innovative architecture able to carry a large variety of sensors. Thanks to solar renewable energy, this flying machine is designed to cover long distances.

The design of the flying machine fully made of composite allows the implementation of a wide surface of solar panel, giving then enough energy to make the UAV highly autonomous in energy.

The global operation will be done using a network of ground control stations, monitoring then the drones for their long distance missions.


To meet the challenges that Xsun faces, Dassault Systèmes provides the 3DEXPERIENCE plaform with a range of solutions:

  • Optimizing the Design of the Drone integrating all the constraints of aerodynamics, surfaces for solar cells, onboard systems, etc, including of course running Simulations in aerodynamic and structural field
  • Designing and simulating systems, and systems of systems.
  • Playing 3D Experiences of the overall system with target scenario

First step is to finalize a demonstrator of the Drone (SolarXOne – Proto) to be showcased during in 2017, which will allow early testing at first customers premises. Then a full model 1 (SolarXOne) shall be completed early 2018.

Meet the team

A strong team of experts that meet the same passion, ambition. The strength of this team is to work with collective Intelligence and collaborative approach beyond the internal team.

  • Benjamin David
    Benjamin David
    Founder, CEO
  • Simon Troubat
    Simon Troubat
    Aerodynamic and Structural Manager
  • Thomas Lamé
    Thomas Lamé
    Control and Command Architect
  • Thibaut de Coene
    Thibaut de Coene
    Artificial Intelligence System Architect
  • Safa Jedidi
    Safa Jedidi
    Electrical Engineer
  • Mickaël  Cosson
    Mickaël Cosson
    Electrical Engineer Architect

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