Winner: QinetiQ Ltd
Product Design award winner: QinetiQ Ltd for The Zephyr Solar-electric Unmanned Aerial System. From: Innovation Awards, 9 November 2011, London
09 November 2011 News
This design ticks all the boxes - social impact, novelty, inventiveness and it could have a dramatic impact economically. The entire aircraft design has been considered and optimized - power, weight, sensors, propulsion in order to make the prospect of 'near-eternal' flight a realistic possibility. High altitude performance in the presence of varying thermals and pressures has been achieved. On top of this, it has already captured the world record for the longest duration flight of an unmanned aircraft (over two weeks) and has redefined what was believed to be achievable. A clear winner.
The IET Innovation Awards celebrate the products, technologies and processes that lead the way in engineering innovation. Spanning 15 categories, the Awards are judged by engineering experts and recognise the depth and breadth of innovative work being carried out across all areas of engineering and technology.