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Solar Ships Could Provide Remote Area Access on the Fly

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Photo credit: Some rights reserved by CIFOR via Flickr

Photo credit: Some rights reserved by CIFOR via Flickr

If you ever had the chance to live in a remote region, you’ll immediately find out how difficult it is just to find your way around separate communities. Oftentimes, you’ll have to tread on foot, on uneven and unpaved land, so just 4-5 miles would often seem like many hours away.

Answering the problem of free transportation in these areas would require the use or development of a vehicle that can easily move around regardless of terrain. An aircraft for example, can provide the range and mobility that is independent of any paved road or path. This latest green innovation adapts the idea of using aircraft, but it isn’t just any aircraft, because it is a flying machine that can both solve the problem of remote area access and remove the issue of fuel shortage.

The Solar Ship Foundation is an organization that aims to develop and spread the use of their Solar Ships. A Solar Ship is an innovative aircraft that seems to be designed with three things in mind: remote accessibility, energy independence, and ease-of-use. It is essentially a helium assisted blimp wing that is powered by solar energy and is capable of taking off and landing in very short runways (STOL). Very low power consumption is achieved because it uses helium as an auxiliary method of gaining lift. High energy input is also achieved, because the aircraft has a very wide surface area that allows for more solar cells to be installed. The resulting complementary attributes is an aircraft that is not dependent on fossil fuel, roads, or runways, things that can only be usually found on cities or on other largely industrial areas.

The primary advantage of the Solar Ship is that it is capable of constantly running back and forth to deliver medical supplies and other important stuff to remote areas (almost) non-stop. Because it is solar-powered, it doesn’t need to refuel to its destination, and may even just hop over to the next destination without the need to return back from its original destination.

The foundation has designed three types of Solar Ships. The first one is Caracal, the light type Solar Ship that is designed for general utility and surveillance. The second one Chui, is a balanced Solar Ship unit that is designed for mid-ranged payloads. The last one, Nanuq, is the largest and most powerful type, capable of moving huge amounts of cargo to very far places, and is the only one that can potentially fly indefinitely in a single day.

The foundation is currently raising $1 million to fund the mass construction of the Solar Ships, as well as to train local pilots to drive these green flying machines.

Christian Crisostomo
About Christian Crisostomo (266 Posts)

Christian Crisostomo is just your average tech geek that loves to see man's newest and most recent technological exploits. He holds great interest in the potentials of green technology, and is enthusiastic about the continuous development of environment-friendly alternative energy.


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