8th September, 2022 EXTRA TOPIC OF THE DAY
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- ‘QIMINGXING 50’ is China’s first fully solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that has successfully completed its maiden test flight.
- It is the first large-sized UAV powered only by solar energy.
- According to Chinese media reports, the drone took a smooth flight for 26 minutes and landed safely.
- It is a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAV that can stay airborne for long durations.
- The drone flies above 20-km altitude where there is stable airflow with no clouds. This helps the drones to make maximum use of solar equipment to stay functional for extended durations.
- The drone can operate from 20 km to 100 km above the Earth’s surface; this makes it capable of carrying out satellite-like functions.
- These drones are also called ‘High Altitude Platform Stations’ or pseudo-satellites.
- These drones can undertake surveillance missions that require them to stay operational, watching over borders or oceans, for months.
- These Drones are cost-effective to build and are also easy to launch and operate.