The SOVA unmanned aerial vehicle does not match any of the existing types of aircraft in its characteristics. This is no longer an airplane, since it can be in the sky for many months, hovering among the clouds at a height of 20 kilometers. It has some features of a satellite, but there is not enough height to fully match the SOVA spacecraft.
For several years now, the team of Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook has been fighting on such a project, dreaming of launching squadrons of Aquila Internet drones hovering over the Earth with giant 42-meter wings covered with solar panels.
Young Russian scientists representing the Foundation for Advanced Study have joined the struggle for leadership. The aircraft they created with 9-meter wings and weighing 12 kg in the first experimental flight showed its extraordinary capabilities, climbing to an altitude of 9 kilometers and holding out there for 50 hours - exactly as much as planned.
"Owl" has an unusual aerodynamic design. The developers abandoned a rigid wing, preferring a flexible one that can be controlled along its entire length. The lightness and strength of the drone is provided by a material based on carbon fibers.
"Owl" flies in the right direction, thanks to three autopilots, one of which is the command one. Having received information about the location in space, it transmits control commands to the servos, which change the flight path. Thanks to special control algorithms, for the first time, it became possible to adjust the wing deflection, roll and, in general, significantly increase the stability of the drone in difficult atmospheric conditions.
"Owl" is a prototype of future unique aircraft that will be engaged in visual reconnaissance in the area of the state border and sea areas. They will also be in demand in several types of technical military intelligence.