Delair-Tech partners to create UAV research center

By Emily Aasand | December 11, 2014

Delair-Tech and ISAE-SUPAERO have partnered to form MIDLELAB, a joint research center which will be used to implement new technologies including using fuel cells and solar cells to enhance the endurance of small unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs).

“ISAE-SUPAERO is home to some of the great minds in aerospace and is an important training and testing ground for technological breakthroughs in all formats,” said Michael de Lagarde, CEO of Delair-Tech. “We already have a rich history of collaboration between ISAE-SUPAERO and ourselves so, naturally, we are well-positioned for what comes next. Our long range, beyond-line-of-sight heritage and experience allows us to bring a lot to the table. We are excited to push the limits of endurance even further with these incredible new technologies.”

Joint research between the companies will consist of studies for optimizing aerodynamic design using wind tunnels, advanced chain optimization for propulsion systems, exploitation of the aircraft’s natural environmental flight conditions, on board solar cell energy use, and integrating fuel cell technology into Delair-Tech’s small UV platforms.

The main objective of the joint laboratory is twofold: to improve existing performance vectors and to develop those of tomorrow from the perspective of energy conservation and high permanence of flight, the companies said.

“MIDLELAB will foster a common passion shared by Delair-Tech and ISAE-SUPAERO for pushing the limits of long endurance mini-UAVs,” said Olivier Lesbre, head of ISAE-SUPAERO. “Cutting-edge techniques developed in our MIDLELAB laboratories will keep ISAE-SUPAERO research teams on the leading edge of excellence and contribute to further increase the performance of Delair-Tech mini-UAVs, which are already best in class in the field of compact mini-drone surveillance systems. ISAE-SUPAERO is proud to team up with Delair-Tech on this project which will boost our research activity on long endurance mini-UAVs.”

ISAE-SUPAERO, the French aerospace school, is a worldwide pioneer and reference in higher education programs and research for aerospace engineering and Delair-Tech, a France-based company, develops and manufactures small, industrial, long-range UAV systems.