In mid-March, Airbus’ Zephyr solar-powered, high-altitude unmanned aircraft encountered severe weather while en route to the stratosphere and crashed close to its launch site in remote Western Australia. The incident underscores the challenge of opening the upper atmosphere to routine operations by very large but very light platforms such as Zephyr that can stay aloft for weeks or months to provide persistent communications or surveillance. During the Xponential unmanned-systems show ...

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