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?
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:
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:
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.