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

Qatar's Italian job

Qatar Airways’ now-finalised involvement in Meridiana – for many years Italy’s ‘second airline’ – will see the Italian airline adopt a new identity and potentially challenge beleaguered flag-carrier Alitalia. Alan Dron reports.

Pegasus relaunches its frequent flyer programme

Pegasus has relaunched its frequent flyer programme, ‘Pegasus BolBol.’

Turkish Aerospace hold workshop in Jakarta

Turkish Aerospace held a workshop on August 14, 2018 in Jakarta with an extensive participation of Indonesian Defence and Aviation Industry companies, regarding the possible cooperation on upcoming several bilateral opportunities

Boeing names Brendan Curran as president of Boeing AvionX

Boeing has appointed Brendan Curran as president of Boeing AvionX, an organisation formed last year to pursue the development and production of avionics and electronics systems.

Etihad Airways deploys additional flights for the Hajj season

Etihad Airways is operating additional flights between Abu Dhabi and its destinations in Saudi Arabia to facilitate the movement of thousands of pilgrims for Hajj.

Osprey en route to safer flights

A revolutionary, new aviation security risk-management solution was launched in Abu Dhabi late last year. Steve Knight talked to Andrew Nicholson, the man behind the system.

TAA SK0902311218
See us at
Istanbul Airshow BT22018Cargo BT1004091018Aviation Africa BT0607280219MAPS18_BT1207131118GATM BT1004061118ASDubai BT1004091018MEBAA BT1004121218MarrakechAirshow BT2507241018BIAS BT271017161118AIME19BTA3005120219