SFL was commissioned by the DLR Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics in Oberpfaffenhofen and by Astrium GmbH in Ottobrunn with extensive design work for this UAV.
Based on the experience gained during the development and operation of the University of Stuttgart’s solar powered glider icaré, a feasibility study on such a high altitude platform was carried out.
Subject to important parameters such as energy density of the onboard battery and solar generator efficiency, the design parameters for the aircraft were optimised and defined for the demonstrator.
This demonstrator was given the name Extreme Lightweight High-Altitude Solar Powered Aircraft (ELHASPA) and SFL was commissioned with the design and construction of the airframe, energy storage system and solar generator.
Before its maiden flight in November 2011 significant parts of the aircraft structure were built and assembled by SFL. Since the maiden flight SFL has monitored flight testing and evaluation as well as analysing the possibilities offered by a high altitude platform.