LG Chem announced a successful test flight in the stratosphere of the EAV-3 solar-powered, lithium-sulfur-based drone in late August.
The EAV-3 drone developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) has a relatively small size (fuselage length – 9 m) and can fly for a long time in the stratosphere at an altitude of 12 kilometers and above, using solar energy accumulated in batteries. The wingspan of the EAV-3 is 20 m.
During the day, the EAV-3 receives energy from solar cells during the flight, and at night uses the energy of batteries that were charged during the day to operate the engines. LG Chem is the first Korean company to conduct such a test of a drone with lithium sulfur batteries.
The test flight of EAV-3, which took place on August 30 at the KARI aviation center in Kohyn, lasted more than 13 hours, from 8:36 to 21:47 local time. It is reported that during flight tests, the EAV-3 flew at an altitude of 22 km, a record for drones developed in South Korea. Out of 13 hours of flight, 7 hours the drone was at an altitude in the range of 12 to 22 km, where conventional aircraft cannot move, maintaining a constant speed throughout the flight.
Flight tests have confirmed the charging and performance stability of the next generation lithium sulfur batteries even under extreme conditions, when temperatures were -70 ° C and atmospheric pressure was 25 times less than at the Earth’s surface.
LG Chem plans to continue to produce updated lithium sulfur batteries capable of providing long-term drone flights for several days. In addition, after 2025, the company plans to start mass production of lithium sulfur batteries with a specific energy density of more than double that of current lithium-ion batteries.
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