California-based silicon anode battery maker Amprius Technologies announced that its batteries helped power the first successful stratospheric flight trial of PHASA-35, a High-Altitude PseudoSatellite (HAPS) uncrewed aerial system designed by Prismatic, a subsidiary of UK aerospace company BAE Systems. Amprius entered into a three-year cooperation agreement with BAE Systems in 2022.
During the June test flight in New Mexico, the solar-electric drone, designed to operate above weather and conventional air traffic, reached an altitude of more than 66,000 feet before successfully landing, reports Amprius.
According to BAE, the PHASA-35, which is powered by the sun during the day and by batteries overnight, has the potential to maintain flight for up to a year in the stratosphere.
“This ultralight platform provides an alternative and flexible approach to traditional systems such as satellites or conventionally powered aircraft,” said Dr. Kang Sun, CEO of Amprius.