Subscribe Free
in General Aviation / Technology

Solar Impulse 2 embarks on next leg of global voyage

Posted 29 June 2015 · Add Comment

Endeavouring to reach Hawaii from Japan - to encourage the use of clean technologies - the solar powered aircraft of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg took off this morning on the longest leg of the Solar Impulse's Round-The-World mission, relying on communications from SITA OnAir using Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband-based satellite comms link, to facilitate all comms and aircraft health monitoring on the 120 hour flight over the Pacific.

At the controls, André Borschberg is venturing into the unknown. This flight is demanding and challenging particularly given its duration: 120 hours on solar power only. It is a feat never accomplished before in the world of aviation.

Above: Solar Impulse inflight, 29 June 2015.
©  Solar Impulse

In early May, the now famous zero-fuel aircraft Solar Impulse 2 was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Japan due to inhospitable weather on the seventh leg of its around-the-world journey.

“The cold front is too dangerous to cross,” said an update at solarimpulse.com. “So we have decided to land in Nagoya Airfield … and wait for better weather conditions in order to continue.”

In this last minute decision to land, communications were provided by SITA OnAir using the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband-based satellite communications link. SITA OnAir communication services made it possible to organise landing permissions at an unplanned airfield and enabled constant contact between the Solar Impulse base team, the aircraft’s pilot and Japanese air traffic control.

“Providing global and reliable connectivity for this aircraft is absolutely fundamental for operational and critical navigation purposes, from nose-to-tail.” explains Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir.

“This is not a wide body commercial aircraft. It’s about the weight of a car making it more sensitive to turbulence or other atmospheric disturbances,” he continues.

Solar Impulse 2 left Nagoya for Hawaii this morning, with André Borschberg at the controls and as he sets out over the Pacific Ocean, SITA OnAir’s services are again the sole means of communication between the pilot and the ground, enabling the flight’s progress to be followed on the Solar Impulse website.

Should technical problems occur or should weather conditions become unfavourable on the 120 hour flight to Hawaii, the constant ground link provided by SITA OnAir will help pilot, support crew and landing facilities organise an alternative route or emergency landing.

“The aircraft has generated seven gigabytes of background IP data and 2,500 minutes of streaming IP data since initial departure from Abu Dhabi on 8 March,” said Dawkins. “This data is comprised of messages from the 10,000 plus sensors covering the aircraft from cockpit data, from voice communications over IP and also from live streaming video when Borschberg talks to the media via his GoPro camera onboard.”

SITA OnAir also provides a suite of solutions enabling commercial airlines to personalise the passenger experience, streamline cabin and cockpit operations, and optimise maintenance procedures.

Classes of air-to-ground data being received from Solar Impulse:
• Background IP data – largely data from the sensors around the aircraft, less time-sensitive transmissions
• Video streaming – from the onboard GoPro cameras, real-time transmissions
• Voice IP – conversations between the pilot and the ground, real-time transmissions

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Fourth Middle East Safety Summit to go ahead in October in Riyadh

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), will organise the Fourth Middle East Safety Summit from 2-3 of October 2018 in the capital city of Riyadh.

Engines power MTU's generation gain

MTU Maintenance sees good growth opportunities for MRO in the Middle East. Sami Ben-Kraiem, the company’s vice-president marketing and sales, Middle East and Southeast Asia, talks to Chuck Grieve.

VistaJet to move HQ to Dubai with new technology division

Dubai is to be the headquarters of a new business aircraft leasing and flight-booking technology company headed by the founder of VistaJet, Thomas Flohr.

On Air Dining recruits top executive chef

On Air Dining, the luxury executive in-flight concierge, has announced the appointment of Mark Brega as it’s executive chef.

Solvochem becomes a supplier of aviation gasoline in the Middle East

Solvochem, a supplier of chemicals, petrochemicals, solvents and plastics worldwide, has invested in state-of-the-art facilities for drumming aviation gas (AvGas) at its Jebel Ali location.

Riyadh is named as the headquarter for the Regional Safety Oversight Organisation for MENA

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced the selection of the city of Riyadh as the headquarter for the Regional Safety Oversight Organisation for the Middle East and North Africa (RSOO – MENA).

MNGJetSK2908121018
See us at
MAPS18_BT1207131118MEBAA BT1004121218Aviation Africa BT0607280219MarrakechAirshow BT2507241018GATM BT1004061118Istanbul Airshow BT22018BIAS BT271017161118AIME19BTA3005120219ASDubai BT1004091018Cargo BT1004091018