The US Navy is developing an uncrewed solar-powered aircraft to fly for 90 days at a time. The Skydweller aircraft could be used as a communications relay platform or a constant eye in the sky to escort surface ships.
The testbed aircraft adds new software and upgraded hardware to Solar Impulse 2, a piloted solar aircraft that flew around the world in 2015-16. The new plane is made by US-Spanish aerospace firm Skydweller Aero. The company was awarded a $5 million contract to develop the aircraft.