Solar Impulse is building an ultralight and extremely energy-efficient solar plane. The aircraft will have a wing-span equal to that of an Airbus A340 (64 metres), the weight of a mid-sized car and will consume as much energy as a small motorcycle. Swisscom is supporting Solar Impulse by providing expertise in the following areas:
1. Development of an ultralight, energy-saving communications solution
Swisscom is developing a special new communications solution for the solar plane, which will fly round the Earth starting in 2014. The solution will be the first of its kind.
The pilot will have permanent contact with the tracking station so that it can transmit data and live images.
The communications solution must be ultralight (max. 5 kilograms) and use very little electricity (max. 50 watts).
The external cameras and transmitters must be able to withstand extreme fluctuations in temperature: between +80°C and -40°C.
2. Communication with the people of Switzerland
Communication is Swisscom's daily business, and we are supporting Solar Impulse with our know-how and expertise. Swisscom is developing innovative mobile services which will enable the Swiss people of Switzerland to experience the Solar Impulse adventure close up.