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Overview   Features   Specifications   Configurator
 

The Explorer is a stratospheric flying robot designed to meet your highest expectations of an unmanned aerial vehicle. A flight ceiling of 60,000 ft (18,000 m), using sollar cels and internal batteries, or 13,000 ft (4,000 m) using hybrid propulsion with power generator and batteries, almost a day of endurance and the capability to be controlled via satellite or GSM communication over the Internet is far beyond any other civilian unmanned aerial vehicle can provide for this price range. The applications can include: border protection; both land and sea; disasters monitoring and management; contaminated areas monitoring; remote areas exploration, such as arctic areas, oceans, mountains, forests, deserts; rescue missions; military reconnaissance; oil pipes and power lines inspection; communication relay; high atmosphere scientific research; meteorology; auto and maritime traffic control; TV and cinema; Internet delivery network over remote areas; or just flying for entertainment.

 
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AirStrato Explorer can takeoff and land from any location, no matter how remote. It is very beautiful and is affordable. The generous payload space and weight make it suitable for a wide range of scientific, monitoring applications and even for personal enjoyment of flight. When ARCA decided to create this aircraft we had only one goal in mind: to create a tool that will expand the human capabilities to explore and discover.
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The Explorer is entirely built from composite materials. It is electric powered, relying on internal batteries and solar cells, or hybrid powered relying on power generator and batteries. It has also a recovery parachute on board, which makes the Explorer flight a safe and enjoyable operation.

 
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The Explorer is launched in the air with the Accelerator, a pneumatically driven catapult that allows the aircraft to take-off in less than a second, smoothly sliding on the Accelerator. AirStrato is the largest air robot in the world that is taking-off using a ground based catapult, which makes it ideal for operations from remote areas and even from ships.

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The avionics is the same you would expect a modern manned aircraft to possess. The aircraft is equipped with inertial flight stabilization and a programmable autopilot. The on-board sensors provides navigation and internal equipment status information to the flight computers. The data are then transmitted to the ground-based Interface. The on-board transponder is ADS-B grade which makes AirStrato already capable to operate in the US NextGeneration Air Transportation System.

 
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A VHF radio is also installed to allow communication to air traffic control or other aircrafts. The two-way transmission uses Internet connection through local GSM and satellite network. The on-board computers automatically switch between connections if one fails, so there is always at least one connection between the aircraft and the ground pilot.

 
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An inexpensive way to reach the stratosphere. And stay there for a long time. The Explorer has a 60,000 ft (18,000 m) flight ceiling, higher than any other commercial UAV currently available. Record breathtaking images from the edge of space, map the Earth, or perform other experiments. All from the safety of your workplace, or even your home.

 

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The software installed in the flight computers has artificial intelligence attributes. Not only it can hold a flight course and follow specific points, but it can also take decisions based on predetermined conditions. For instance, it prevents the pilot to enter a restricted area; in case the connection between AirStrato and the Interface is lost, the aircraft can call by itself the technical support at ARCA SPACE CORPORATION while maintaining a steady course; in case all contact both with its pilot and technical support at ARCA is lost, AirStrato will fly to a predetermined safe area and altitude and deploy the recovery parachute.
The autopilot can maintain the altitude and course or follow way-points inserted into the flight path. The autopilot is very friendly, way-points can be inserted, deleted, re-organized, or saved on the Interface ground station or in the aircraft computer. The autopilot can also control the on-board camera to target specific locations and film them for a pre-determined period of time.
All connections between the UAV and and the ground station use Transport Layer Security and are encrypted with the AES 256 standard, that is the best possible encryption for civilian applications. The UAV on-board computer features snapshot algorithm to prevent tampering with system and avionics files. The connection server has a demilitarized zone protection with double firewall and Intrusion Detection and Prevention systems to block hacker intrusion. Also several servers in different locations, in US and EU are available as redundancy that are ready to takeover the workload in case one ore more servers encounter denial of service attacks. All of these features provide you with the best security you can possibly have for a civilian remote controlled aircraft.

 

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The on-board transponder is ADS-B grade which makes AirStrato already capable to operate in the US NextGeneration Air Transportation System. The transponder is equipped with GPS and altitude encoder that is able to operate up to 80,000 ft (24,000m).

 

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This is the lightest composites airframe we can construct. It doesn't get any lighter than this. But it is also strong, flexible and durable. And because radio waves can pass right through the fuselage, you don't have to mount outside antennae to affect its aerodynamic performance. Or its beauty.

 

 

 

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The electric motors are powered, beside the internal batteries, by an array of solar cells placed on the aircraft wing. These provide enough power to keep you flying for hours. Flying at night? Just use the internal batteries instead, that are recharged during the day flight. The solar cells and internal batteries provide the Explorer with an autonomy of 20 hours. If your missions are requiring mostly night flights, then choose the hybrid version, with internal power generator and no solar cells.

 

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The electric motors are used to propel the AirStrato to stratospheric altitudes. Compared with classic combustion engines, the electric motors do not require air to function and their performance is not affected by the increased altitude. However, the aircraft propellers will offer lower thrust as the altitude increases. The motors can be throttled from zero to full thrust in less than two seconds. The propeller thrust can be continuously adjusted from the Interface's throttle handle.
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The recovery parachute has a diameter of 43 ft (13m) and it is placed in a rear fuselage container. It can be used to bring AirStrato on the ground, on any place you may want, independently from a runway. It can also be used in case of emergencies. Just press two buttons from the stick. The first button will arm the parachute system and the second button will deploy it. The parachute can be quickly repacked and reused.

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Available color Yellow, Red, Blue, Gray  

 

Dimensions

Wingspan

16 m
52.5 ft
Length
7 m
23.1 ft
Height
1.6 m
5.3 ft
Wing area
19.2 m2
206.7 ft2

 

Weights Empty weight
185 kg
408 lb
Max. payload weight
45 kg
100 lb
Max. take-off weight
230 kg
507 lb

 

Power plant
Engine
Robbe 8085/10
Robbe 8085/10
Working voltage
45 V
45 V
Engine thrust at sea level
6 x 20 kgf
6 x 44 lbf

 

Power source Solar cells
6 inch polycrystalline
6 inch polycrystalline
Installed power of solar cells
2,800 W
2,800 W
Power generator for hybrid version
5,100 W
5,100 W

 

Performance with electric propulsion Flight ceiling
18,000 m
60,000 ft
Take-off speed
54 km/h
34 mph
Sustained rate of climb
3 m/s
10 ft/s
Cruise speed*
152 km/h
95 mph
Maximum speed*
170 km/h
106 mph
Never exceed speed*
210 km/h
130 mph
Stall speed*
135 km/h
84 mph
Landing distance on skids
18 m
60 ft
Endurance**
20 hours
20 hours
Ferry range
1,800 km
1,120 mil
Max. thrust to weight ratio
0.52
0.52
Wing loading
12 kg/m2
284 lb/ft2
Maximum g load
+3 / -2
+3 / -2

 

Performance with
hybrid propulsion
Nominal flight ceiling
2,500 m
8,250 ft
Max. flight ceiling*
4,000 m
13,200 ft
Take-off speed
54 km/h
34 mph
Rate of climb
3 m/s
10 ft/s
Cruise speed
60 km/h
37 mph
Maximum speed
80 km/h
50 mph
Never exceed speed
110 km/h
68 mph
Stall speed
45 km/h
28 mph
Landing distance on skids
18 m
60 ft
Endurance
20 hours
20 hours
Ferry range
1200 km
740 mil
Thrust to weight ratio
0.52
0.52
Wing loading
16 kg/m2
380 lb/ft2
Maximum g load
+3 / -2
+3 / -2

 

Avionics Flight computer
EMAC VDX PC104
EMAC VDX PC104
Image processing computer
EMAC VDX PC104
EMAC VDX PC104
Satellite terminal for data link / video
Iridium / Inmarsat
Iridium / Inmarsat
GSM for data link / image transfer
Local GSM network
Local GSM network
Inertial Measurement Unit
XSens MTI 10
XSens MTI 10
Data link GPS
Byonics 4
Byonics 4
Temperature sensors
Infrared / bi-metal
Infrared / bi-metal
Voltage sensors
200 Ah

200 Ah

Satellite GPS beacon
Iridium
Iridium
Transponder
Becker Avionics
Becker Avionics
Altitude encoder
Ameriking 24 km
Ameriking 80 kft
Camera
1/2,3 sensor
1/2,3 sensor
Image resolution, stored
1920 x 1080
1920 x 1080
Image resolution, transmitted
720 x 576
720 x 576

 

Software Flight computer OS
Linux
Linux
Image processing computer OS
Linux
Linux
Autopilot
TR v1.0
TR v1.0

 

Payload Internal volume
1 x 0.4 x 0.8 m
3.3 x 1.3 x 2.6 ft
Hard-points
Two, on the wing
Two, on the wing

 

Operating
environment
Crosswind velocity
4 m/s
13 ft/s
Night operations
Yes
Yes
Storage temperature
-30° / +70° C
-22° / +158° F
Start-up temperature
-20° / + 50° C
-4° / +122° F
Flying temperature
- 70° C
- 94° F
Max humidity at sea lever
100 %
100 %
Rain operations
Yes
Yes
 

* At maximum altitude
** Depending on season for available sunlight

 

 

Total purchase
$

 

Observation container with Full HD camera

The container is attachable under the aircraft wing and it provides 35Mbps full HD video, recorded with state of the art camera and optics. The camera, a Canon 5D, is three axis stabilized. It can record no grain night images up to ISO 3200. Various lenses could be attached to the camera.

10000 $
       

Observation container with 4K camera

The container is attachable under the aircraft wing and it provides 500Mbps, 4K video, cinema quality, recorded with state of the art camera and optics. The camera, a Canon 1DC, is three axis stabilized. It can record no grain night images up to ISO 6400. Various lenses could be attached to the camera.

18000 $
       

Additional battery pack

Increase the autonomy of the Pioneer by adding more batteries in internal container. The size of the payload must be reduced though.

8000 $
       

Customizable cargo container

If you need to send fast payloads up to 100 lb (45 kg). Use AirStrato for this job. It is fast, precise and cost effective. Drop your cargo from low altitude with pinpoint accuracy via a parachute. AirStrato can fly with two containers, each able to carry 44 lb (20 kg).

3500 $
       

FLIR UltraFoce 275 HD camera

The thermal camera is useful for surveillance during night or for search and rescue missions where time is of the utmost importance.

contact us for pricing
     

LASER range-finder for FLIR camera

Use the range-finder and the Geo-location feature of the camera to obtain distance and precisely mark a target on the GPS map.

contact us for pricing
     

LASER designator for FLIR camera

Use the laser designator to mark a target in real time for other observation and search and rescue aircraft to detect.

contact us for pricing

 

Total purchase
$

 

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Payment for the product is as follows:

30% at pre-order from the value of the Explorer including accessories;

The remaining amount due just before delivery. Download the AirStrato Preorder Information Form here

 

 

Technology

ARCABOARD
ARCAMINI
AIRSTRATO
HAAS 2B
HAAS 2C


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