Skypersonic’s drone tests simulated the NASA Mars mission on Mt. Etna

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Detroit-based drone inspection company Skypersonic has further prepared for its role in a simulated NASA Mars mission by testing its hallmark remote UAV and rover piloting system during trials on Mt. Etna.

Skypersonic performed the 15-day series of trials as part of the five-year partnership it struck last year with NASA to provide drone and rover tech for the agency’s simulated Mars mission. During the trials carried out in July, the company says it demonstrated the remote control viability of its software and hardware, after pilots based in Houston, TX put the flagship Skycopter UAV through the paces above Mt. Etna nearly half a world away.

Among the tasks carried out on the surfaces of the active volcano was the collection of rock samples by a Skypersonic terrestrial rover – an essential capability for any craft involved in Martian exploration. Equally critical was the effectiveness of remote drone piloting from a very great distance, which is another central challenge in Skypersonic’s contribution to NASA’s Mars project.

The company previously tested that ability during industrial drone inspections trials, notably one in June of a plant in its European base, Turin, controlled by technicians in Florida.

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