There are a multitude of issues which prove to be hard to combat because of their physical scale. More specifically, there are issues which occur over swaths of land so vast that they become incredibly expensive to track down and solve. Examples include the Mediterranean refugee crisis, where rafts run adrift throughout the entire sea; wildfire detection in Australia, where situations can escalate quickly if not readily contained; illegal animal poaching in Africa, where endangered species are dying at unprecedented rates. All of these issues are similar in that they require their combatants to monitor and surveil areas far larger than what they are reasonably prepared for.
To solve this, and further the fight against these momentous issues, we want to create a solar unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). By design, this device would be capable of sustained flight - able to fly during night and day for prolonged periods of time. ETH Zurich set a precedent for this with their AtlantikSolar project, which set a world record of 81 consecutive hours of flight time. Our design would not aim to break the record, instead, it would focus on establishing a middle ground between endurance flight and practical applicability - housing an onboard optical surveillance system. In addition, the UAV could also potentially be used as a measurement platform for scientific endeavours that rely on prolonged data collection.
Our vision is to combat pressing humanitarian issues that occur over vast areas. We are developing a sustainable, affordable and effective solution in the form of a solar-powered autonomous aerial surveillance vehicle. The first iteration of our product will be complete by the end of 2022.