October 17, 2014 - ARCA SPACE CORPORATION was established in US
ARCA has relocated its center of operations in Las Cruces, New Mexico. ARCA has become a US company, under the name ARCA SPACE CORPORATION, but its operations in EU will continue for activities mostly related to software and rocket engines development. In November, ARCA will start the commercial operations involving the manufacturing and selling of Air Strato air robot series.
Air Strato unmanned aircraft family is intended to meet the highest expectations from clients worldwide. The top product is a stratospheric aircraft designed to fly for long period of time at altitudes up to 60,000 ft (18,000 m). The vehicle has global navigation capabilities and is electrical powered, using solar panels for daylight flight and internal batteries for night operation. More on airstrato.com
February 28, 2014 - AirStrato-0001 prototype first take-off and landing
Air Strato, the electrical powered unmanned aerial vehicle performed the first take-off from rough ground. The aircraft performed a short flight at 25 m altitude and then landed.
Air Strato was powered by four electrical engines. Two supplementary engines were added in order to shorten the take-off distance. Other additions ware suspensions installed on main and forward landing gear. The right landing gear suspension was damaged at touch down.
"The aircraft had only 10 percent of the batteries intended for the commercial version so we had to add ballast to simulate take-off weight. We also added two more electrical motors to increase thrust, needed on the rough ground to decrease take-off distance that, combined with the landing gear suspension, provided for a smooth taxi and take-off on rough terrain. It took less than 30 m to lift into the air at maximum thrust. Also we were impressed by the aircraft's rate of climb." - Teodor Diaconu, ARCA flight dynamics engineer.
Air Strato is a high altitude electrical powered unmanned aerial vehicle. It can reach altitudes of above 18 km and has an autonomy of 7 hours on internal batteries and up to 3 days using solar panels. It can carry a variable payload up to 30 kg consisting of surveillance equipment or other scientific instruments.
February 19, 2014 - Air Strato-0001, tests on rough ground
ARCA performed a series of tests on rough ground for the Air Strato electrical powered unmanned aerial vehicle. The aircraft was accelerated to take-off speed to verify if the landing gear is able to hold on this type of runway. The take-off distance was also determined.
Air Strato has a very low take-off speed of about 50 km/h and can use any type of runway, including concrete, grass landing strips, even improvised runways covered with mud. The two powerful electrical motors propel it to take-off speed in a very short distance of max. 65m. This makes the aircraft able to be operated in a variety of conditions and the low take-off and landing distance make it possible utilize any flat strip of land available.
"We started with low speed passes and gradually increased until we reached take-off speed. The electrical engines are very powerful in spite of their size and we reached 0 to 50 km/h in only 65 m. On concrete, the take-off speed was reached in only 50m. We haven't installed wheel brakes yet so it took a while to come to a stop after engine cut-off. The runway was improvised by clearing the snow and leveling the ground a bit, but we didn't do much more. Overall we are impressed on how well the aircraft performed." said Dumitru Popescu, ARCA president.
Air Strato is a high altitude electrical powered unmanned aerial vehicle. It can reach altitudes of 18 km and has an autonomy of 7 hours on internal batteries and 3 days using solar panels. In can carry a payload of 30 kg consisting of surveillance equipment or other scientific instruments. A commercial version will be available for purchase.
February 10, 2014 - ARCA is developing a high performance air-robot
The aircraft is named Air Strato and is part of a larger UAV family that will carry out various missions for ARCA and our partners. The first prototype is completed and is already in testing.
This is the largest version, having a wingspan of 16m (52 ft) and is intended for stratospheric flights up to an altitude of 60,000 ft (18,000 m). The aircraft is electrically powered and has autonomy of 7 hours on internal batteries and 3 days using solar panels. It can carry a payload of 30 kg consisting of aerial photography and surveillance equipment, scientific instruments or other payloads for various tasks including additional battery pods for extended autonomy.
The other versions of Air Strato have a smaller wingspan and lower flight ceiling but higher maximum speed and larger payloads.
"Our activity requires that we perform stratospheric missions for our partners and clients, and the solar and helium balloons we used until now, although capable of lifting heavier payloads to higher altitudes, are more expensive and time consuming in construction, are dependent on calm weather conditions and require aerial safety zones to be established. Air Strato can fill their roles much cheaper and more reliable for an extended period of time and perform additional tasks for clients such as surveillance over a fixed area, telemetry testing and scientific experiments for extended period of time or other missions. It will make our entire aerospace activity much easier and less expensive." Dumitru Popescu, ARCA CEO.
If tests are successful ARCA is considering developing commercial versions of Air Strato and other UAV in the family.
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