This section provides internal project documentation (brochures, technical reports, etc.) for download. If you are looking for external media coverage about the project, please have a look here

Promotional material

Project Brochure The AtlantikSolar Project Brochure (print-optimized version)
Project Brochure The AtlantikSolar Project Brochure (web-optimized version)


Technical and Scientific Publications

PhD Thesis

Solar-Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Design and Environment-Aware Navigation for Robust Low-Altitude Multi-Day Continuous Flight (PhD Thesis, ETH Zurich, 2018) PhD thesis covering the entire solar-powered UAV research, including ultra-long endurance aircraft design and environment-aware path planning. Permanent link here.

Journal Papers

Meteorology-Aware Multi-Goal Path Planning for Large-Scale Inspection Missions with Solar-Powered Aircraft (Journal of Aerospace Information Systems, 2019) Paper on the multi-goal meteorology-aware path planning for solar UAVs that enabled AtlantikSolar’s flights in the Arctic in Summer 2017. Final paper version available here.
Robotic Technologies for Solar-Powered UAVs: Fully-Autonomous Updraft-Aware Aerial Sensing for Multi-Day Search-and-Rescue Missions (Journal of Field Robotics, 2018) Paper on the first-ever fully-autonomous multi-day solar-powered flight with a day/night capable search and rescue payload, done in 2016. Final paper version available here.
Design of small hand-launched solar-powered UAVs: From concept study to a multi-day world endurance record flight (Journal of Field Robotics, 2017) A comprehensive journal paper on all research that enabled the flight endurance world record for aircraft <50kg set by AtlantikSolar in 2015. Final paper version available here.

Book Chapters

Solar-Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Encyclopedia of Robotics, Springer Verlag Berlin-Heidelberg, to be released 2020) A chapter in Springer’s Encyclopedia of Robotics, summarizing the state-of-the-art and research perspectives for solar-powered UAVs.
Long-Endurance Sensing and Mapping using a Hand-Launchable Solar-Powered UAV (Springer STAR series, 2016; orig. published in Field and Service Robotics Conference, 2015) Small chapter in Springer’s Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series covering early solar-UAV flight applications. Permanent link here.

Conference Publications (not extensive)

Real-time 3D wind field prediction onboard UAVs for safe flight in complex terrain (IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2019) Prediction of local wind-fields in real-time and directly onboard a UAV, to increase flight safety in complex terrain. Final paper available here.
High-Fidelity Solar Power Income Modeling for Solar-Electric Aircraft: Development and Flight Test Based Verification (33rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 2017) High Fidelity Solar Power Income Models for Solar UAVs, used over the entire AtlantikSolar development. Permanent link here.
Perpetual flight with a small solar-powered UAV: Flight results, performance analysis and model validation (IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2016) The paper on AtlantikSolar’s first-ever energetically-perpetual flight – a 28 hour flight in 2015. Permanent link here.
A Solar-Powered Hand-Launchable UAV for Low-Altitude Multi-Day Continuous Flight (ICRA, 2015) An early system design paper on AtlantikSolar development. Permanent link here.
Meteorological Path Planning Using Dynamic Programming for a Solar-Powered UAV (IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2015) Paper on a meteorology-aware path planning (MetPASS) for solar-powered UAVs, and more specifically for AtlantikSolar’s crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. Permanent link here.

One thought on “Publications

  1. Bravo for your beautiful solar UAV.
    I follow the great Impulse2 Flight of your compatriote Bertrand Piccard et André Borschberg ,I wrote an article

    Solar UAV

    The third of July 2015 the solar airplane SolarImpulse lands in Haitii after a 5 days continuous flight 8500 Km , above the Pacific ,coming from Japan.

    It will be the beginning of an extraordinary change in our way to think the way to think our future wireless equipments.

    Now we will describe an immediate application around a French fable.

    Mr DRAHI owner of Numericable/SFR launched a public bid for acquiring one of the other 4G operator ,Bouygues Telecoms
    Proposal : €10 Billion.
    Bouygues refused the €10 Billions offer.
    One of he goal for Mr Drahi was to resale a part of the Bouygues business :P oints of sales,ground infrastructure to Free telecoms the last company that enters in the business with the very clever owner Mr Xavier Niel .
    To complete the picture Free , has no ground infrastructure and is using the Orange one ,borrowing it for €500M/Year.
    Now Mr Niel can call SolarImpulse guys to take the idea ,building a new "flying" infrastructure instead of spending $500M/year borrowing Orange infrastructure.
    The BTS infrastructure requires heavy investment,.
    For a very small GSM 2G network "old fashion" in Africa
    CAP $ 200-250 k _OP $ 200k / year
    Price of Open Source BTS is now much ,much lower.
    Look at Ettus Research products,Range Network ,Yate BTS, Amarisoft etc…
    These companies specializes in low-cost, high-quality software defined radio (SDR) systems can be tested ,mounted in the UAV cockpit.

    I am not the inventor of the idea, brilliant entrepreneurs have traced the way:Google bought Titan Aerospace , Facebook Ascenta a small UK-based Solar UAV
    SolarImpulse engineers are wearing jacket , on their collar you see:GOOGLE .
    These companies do not often make mistakes.
    In a relative confidentiality way ,Google tested his telecoms Loon Balloon .
    An interesting model was described by the Dr. Jerry LeMieux for Internet distribution with Solar UAV.
    A full coverage of Los Angeles, needs just 4 drones (1215 Km2) .
    The annual income for an Internet service in Los Angeles is $4.68 Billion.
    If the contractor using this technology takes only 10% of the market’s annual income will be $ 468m
    Your drone investment is very low compared with ground infrastructure and maintenance.

    SolarImpulse a beautiful solar /UAVPlane .
    Initiator, Chairman and Pilot
    Bertrand Piccard
    Co-founder, CEO and Pilot
    André Borschberg

    Incidentally they show ,in the real life ,a solution for the telecoms operators.
    13 years of hard to reach their fool idea :running an air plane just with the Solar "fuel".
    That July third of July 2015 is the start of a fantastic way for delivering wireless communications at cheaper price all over the world .

    The SolarImpulse may be converted in a Solar UAV for LTE equipments.

    All is existing in the SolarImpulse : Supervision of solar panel ,batteries charging ,control of the plane included, with an Intelsat satellite link.

    Satellites manufacturers ,including the O3b peoples, be careful,Titan Aerospace gives to his "Solara 50 UAV ", the name of “atmospheric satellite,”

    I don’t say that all the ground infrastructures will disappear.
    I am far from being a dreamer ,all my life ,I worked on the field ,to put on wireless network ,with problems that we find in difficult countries .

    Problems: administrative,technical ,have to be solved.

    Note: The article was written the 3rd of July 2015.

    After THE Nagoya to Hawaii flight it appears a problem :IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE TO OVERHEATED BATTERIES IN SI2.
    As we know as technicians ,in technical matter, there is always a solution .
    Be sure that the flight will continue ,the diagnostic is made ,the solutions are there ,just a little delay before the S2 will take off for the next flight.

    Is it a new challenge ? A new telecoms model?
    That is the question.

    Eric Poussielgues.
    As I wrote le 3rd of July 2015 I think that the solar UAV is the “flying tower” of all radio communications .It solves all the problem we have in radio coverage projects.
    Actually I am working on an over sea radicom project and your drone can be the future of LTE communications .
    I have to look much deeper in your brochure to see what is the payload we can bus in your AtlantikSolar UAV.
    Long live the bright Swiss
    Best Regards et encore Bravo pour votre vol.
    Eric Poussielgues