Airbus to Test Zephyr S in Western


Airbus has picked Wyndham airport, located southeast of Wyndham in the Kimberly region of Western Australia, as the location for testing its cutting edge high-altitude solar-powered drones.
Wyndham will be the world’s first operational site for launching and recovering the Zephyr S drones which are classed as High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS).
The Zephyr HAPS project is a solar-powered aerial platform that flies at more than 65,000 feet (20 km) to provide a range of earth observation services and communications connectivity for people in remote areas, including for civil, military or humanitarian purposes.
Zephyr flies autonomously for months, filling a capability gap between satellites and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) by providing an affordable, adaptable and persistent solution.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan welcomed the Airbus announcement and said his government had been working with Airbus since February this year to support the implementation of Airbus Defence and Space’s HAPS program at Wyndham Airport.
“The choice of Wyndham due to the largely unrestricted airspace and reliable weather, together with the strong support provided by the Western Australian Government, provides both a job creation opportunity in the east Kimberley and a technology advancement opportunity for Western Australia, and Australia, more generally,” he said.
Airbus will begin flights in the second half of this year. The UK developed platform will be tested in Wyndham over the “long-term” according to the company with no set end date for the project.