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Updated February 10th, 2024 at 00:11 IST

CSIR-NAL Successfully Tests Smaller High-Altitude Pseudo Satellite or HAPS Platform in Karnataka

The small model, with a wingspan of 12 metres and weighing 22 kilograms at takeoff, completed around 22 flights during the tests.

Digital Desk
CSIR-NAL has carried out a series of flight tests on a subscale model of its HAPS platform.
CSIR-NAL has carried out a series of flight tests on a subscale model of its HAPS platform. | Image:CSIR-NAL
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New Delhi: India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL) recently tested a smaller version of its high-altitude pseudo satellite (HAPS) platform, as per media reports. The tests took place at the Defence Research and Development Organisation's Aeronautical Test Range in Karnataka from January 23 to February 2.

The small model, with a wingspan of 12 metres and weighing 22 kilograms at takeoff, completed around 22 flights during the tests. It flew for nearly 37 hours in total.

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According to L Venkatakrishnan, NAL's chief scientist and the director of the high-altitude platform program, the aircraft performed well in meeting the set goals. It flew for more than 8 hours and 30 minutes and reached an altitude of almost 3 kilometres above sea level. The tests also evaluated its climb rate, maximum bank angle, turn radius, and how it handles with one engine not working.

By conducting these tests, NAL has taken another step with its HAPS project. Through this test, they demonstrated that the aircraft can fly at an altitude of 3 kilometres, equivalent to certain conditions related to air flow.

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The tested model was equipped with necessary payloads and flight systems. It also had cameras attached to observe its performance during flights. With efficient solar cells and batteries, plus a payload capacity of 1 kilogram, this smaller version can fly for 24 hours. Further reports added that according to Venkatakrishnan HAPS has quite the potential for low-altitude missions.

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Published February 10th, 2024 at 00:11 IST

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