SPC Athena Solar-Powered Drone

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SPC Athena Solar-Powered Drone

Postby Allanea » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:50 am

SPC Athena Solar Powered Drone
Athena L (Light) drone and Athena-H (Heavy) (Art by Imeriata)

Wingspan: 25 meters (Athena-L) / 33 meters (Athena-H).
Weight: 65 kg / 145 kg
Payload: 5 kg / 20 kg
Cruise speed: 56 km/h
Cost: $5 million / $10 million
DPR: $10 billion (both types of aircraft)

Overview: The ever-expanding need for intelligence assets and aerial photography, in law enforcement operations, counterterrorism warfare, as well as disaster response and even farming, has brought about the need for a budget-friendly, environmentally-friendly solution to the problem. It would be the Serene Power Company, in the Serene Republic of the High Treefolk, that would be best placed to provide a product that would be cheap, environmentally friendly, and have a reduced logistics footprint. As the Serene Power Company already had a background in the production of solar-powered equipment and various hi-tech product, the obvious result was a solar-powered drone.

The Athena drones, capable of remaining aloft up to a year at a time, had several substantial advantages for both military and civilian use. Not only did they save vast amounts money on fuel (both because they are solar aircraft, and because they do not carry a pilot, thereby of course saving substantial weight due to no longer needing to be large enough to carry a human being, and, more importantly, their cockpit.

This allowed for a substantial reduction in logistic burden – not only in saving the fuel the aircraft, but also in the logistics necessary in shipping the fuel itself, land the aircraft, refuel, etc. It is possible for a nation engaged in a long-term COIN conflict to even fly the Athena drones from their home base, carry out a surveillance mission, and return home, without needing to put service bases and technicians within harm's way at all.

It must be noted here that the Athena drones can operate at an altitude of as high as 70,000 feet or over 21,300 meters – substantially beyond the reach of most air defense systems, while being cheap enough as to make expending the sort of high-altitude missile that would in fact hit them a dubious idea at best – although we have no doubt that an S-300 or comparable missile would easily hit the drones. In the future it may even be possible to arm the drones with miniature missiles, although obviously those will have to be very low-weight (an individual weight of 1 kg or less is ideal).

Sensors and Comms: The due to the small size of both drones, they are hardly the ideal platforms for carrying offensive weapons, and indeed they are not designed to do that. The Athena-L (Light) carries only an EO/IR high-resolution surveillance suite. Moreover, it is capable of serving as a conduit for either military or civilian cellular communications, or for rebroadcasting broadband Internet up to 100 Mbps (or any other similar digital signal to the same bandwidth). In other words, this aircraft is capable of serving as a cheaper version of a comms/surveillance satellite.

The Athena-H (Heavy) is also equipped with SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and a passive ELINT surveillance suite, capable of recording the outputs of OPFOR radar, cellular phones, and other similar platforms and transmitting its record to its base of operations.

Economic and Strategic Advantages of Our Product:
While it should be noted that the Athena drones carry substantially less payloads than other aircraft of comparable class, they are still capable of putting eyes on the target where the user who cannot afford a more expensive drone would otherwise have no eyes at all, and operating for much longer than any fossil-fuel powered drone would have ever even been able to try.

Beyond this, it must be clear that the small size of those drones makes them affordable for non-military organizations such as police agencies, regulatory bodies seeking to monitor rainforest use, rescue organizations seeking to have a precise assessment of the effect of an earthquake or a fire, or even private groups such as a farming consortium seeking to have a precise monitoring of its crops or infra-red readings of soil conditions.

(Should your be so generous as to purchase DPR for this product, the Serene Power Company promises to spend 10% of the DPR revenue on environmental charity and remediating pollution damage in the Serene Republic of the High Treefolk).

Last edited by Allanea on Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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