Osprey wins new contract with Airbus to provide safe separation assessment of the Zephyr-S Unmanned Aircraft

Osprey is pleased to announce the award of a new contract by Airbus to provide a safe separation assessment of the Zephyr-S Unmanned Aircraft (UA).

Referred to as a High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS), Zephyr-S is the latest design of this highly sophisticated series of ultra-lightweight UA’s. Solar powered, it is capable of flying and operating up to twice the altitude of commercial aircraft and with mission endurance of greater than a month, it performs more like a satellite than a conventional UA.

Osprey will develop the strategy for the safe airspace integration of Zephyr-S and contribute to the overall system safety case. This represents unique, significant and cutting edge challenges from an Airspace, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Safety perspective. These challenges will be overcome to ensure that Zephyr-S can be inserted into international airspace, including that used by manned aviation, safely and effectively.

Richard Connelly, Director Strategy and Capability Development at Osprey said “This is an exciting project for Osprey, and exactly what we enjoy doing!  Zephyr launches in a similar way to powered aircraft, has the performance characteristics of a sailplane, can operate globally but endures like a satellite – as such it challenges many aspects of conventional aviation concepts and thinking.  Imaginative and innovative approaches are required to address unique regulatory, safety and airspace challenges. Osprey’s extensive understanding of international Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Airspace regulations, combined with our award-winning approach to delivering innovative safety solutions, makes us an ideal partner to support Airbus in developing this incredible platform.”

Osprey’s solution will, where appropriate, align with the ICAO guidelines for UAS. We will also ensure that any airspace management arrangements and the operational safety arguments that underpin them, meet the national and international aviation regulatory requirements and standards. We will do this by ensuring that, wherever possible, conventional processes and procedures are utilised and complied with; where this is not possible we will develop a solution that at least meets the same level of safety to those met by current manned aviation.

The Airbus Zephyr-S is a record-breaking aircraft that will be capable of gathering constant, reliable information over vast geographical areas at a much greater level of detail than ever before. It will fly at the edge of the earth’s atmosphere and provide a cost-effective alternative to use of satellites – quite literally cutting edge technology being supported by Osprey.

For further information on our UAS capabilities and case studies, please click here.

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