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High Altitude, Long Endurance (HALE) Aircraft




  • A near-space platform, more responsive than satellites

  • A small, low-cost UAV for continuous operation over the world

  • Autonomous or remote operation at 65,000 to 100,000 feet altitude

  • A compact, deployable package for a variety of launch options



  • Designed from most recent technological advances 
  • Flexible, thin-film solar cells as deployable parawings

  • Regenerative fuel cells in a multi-functional fuselage

  • Electric motor and pusher propeller for quiet, smooth operations

  • Our advanced morphing and deployment concepts







Aircraft wingtip projections called winglets have been used on aircraft such as the Airbus A-319 and the Boeing 737-800 to reduce wingtip vortices and lower induced drag. These single winglets are able to improve fuel efficiency by 3-5%.

STAR, Inc. conceived a system of multi-winglets similar to the wingtips of eagles and other soaring birds for improved performance, and evaluated them under a Phase I contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

We designed and fabricated several wind tunnel models and tested them in wind tunnels at Georgia Tech and Ohio State universities for lift and drag information and laser flow visualization. We confirmed experimental wind tunnel results by Navier-Stokes analysis, and showed that certain multi-winglet configurations reduced the wing induced drag and improved L/D by 15-30% compared with the baseline wing.

In a follow-on Phase II SBIR contract, STAR, Inc. produced models of passive and active multiple winglets, and demonstrated them on a Marine Corps DragonEye UAV provided by the Naval Research Laboratory. The combination of multiple winglets, smart structures, and active control will greatly improve aircraft range and endurance, and reduction in wing dynamic response will lead to improved ride quality and fatigue life. Multi-winglets can be retrofitted on general aviation aircraft for improved fuel economy, and can be designed into airliners to improve fuel economy, ride quality, and wing fatigue life.