The Naval Research Laboratory (United States) a group of scientists has managed to develop a new software, baptized with the name of ALOFT, Autonomous Locator of Thermals, which, as advertised, would be able to get any type of drone to fly for hours without using fuel or another type of battery. Undoubtedly a milestone that can greatly improve the support of this type of device, especially in surveillance and data collection tasks.
As announced in the paper published by the team of scientists, this software has been developed to make the drone in question take advantage of updrafts to stay in the air without the need for any other means of propulsion. As a detail, tell you that this same system is the one that gliders use today in flights without propulsion in order to stay in the air and cover greater distances.
ALOFT, a software that can make your drone fly for hours without wasting fuel or battery.
To be able to use these air currents, it was necessary to install a series of sensors on the drone, specific to measure wind speed and pressure, so that it, in a completely autonomous way, is capable of track thermal signals and can target them. In addition to this, the drone must incorporate a GPS system and an inertial navigation system. After more than twenty test flights, the system has managed to evolve considerably to become a very mature project that could reach the market in a few months.