经济学人:航空航天:可执行卫星作业的高空无人机 (02)

But it will provide no other details for fear of tipping off rivals, of whom there are several.

但由于担心向对手(对手有几家)泄密,公司并未提供其他细节。

(Though one potential competitor, Facebook, closed its own high altitude-solar-powered-drone operation earlier this year

(虽然今年早些时候,一家潜在竞争者—Facebook关闭了自己的高海拔太阳能无人机项目

with a view to using drones built by others to provide internet access in remote regions.)

Facebook是为了利用其他公司出产的无人机在一些偏远地区提供互联网。)

At the opening of the Farnborough factory, in July,

7月,在法恩伯勒工厂开幕时,

the wings of the three Zephyrs then on the production line were carefully covered, in order to avoid prying eyes.

三架当时在产Zephyrs的机翼被小心地遮盖住,以防偷窥。

Rather than selling the craft outright, Airbus plans to use them to conduct particular jobs for particular customers,

空中客车公司并不打算直接销售这批航天器,他们计划使用这些航天器为特定顾客执行特定工作,

says Nigel Chandler, head of sales for the operation.

该项目销售负责人奈杰尔·钱德勒说到。

A craft thus leased out might engage in Earth-observation tasks such as maritime surveillance or detecting forest fires—

租赁出去的航天器或许会参与地球观测任务,比如海事监控或探测森林火灾—

or it might, by travelling in small circles, act as an internet node or as a platform for mobile telephony.

或是在小范围内巡查,充当移动通讯的互联网节点或平台。

Moreover it could, if required, be moved around in mid mission, for example to act as an observation platform for a disaster area.

此外,如有需要,还可以在任务中端来回移动,例如,充当灾区的一个观察台。

That would both be much simpler than repositioning a satellite and cheaper to operate.

相比重置卫星来说,这种无人机操作要简单的多,运行成本也更低。

Airbus will run its Zephyr service from a base at Wyndham, Western Australia, that will open later this year.

空中客车公司将在西澳大利亚州温德姆的一个基地操作其Zephyr服务,将于今年年底开业。

This is surrounded by a large area of unrestricted airspace and has reliable weather for landings and take-offs

该地四周被一大片无限制空域环绕,着陆和起飞天气也很适宜

(like landings, these also involve people giving the craft a helping hand).

(比如着陆,这里还有人给航天器搭把手)。

Depending on conditions, a Zephyr on the move can travel between 1,000km and 2,000km a day,

根据天气状况而定,一架飞行中的Zephyr一天的飞行路程为1000千米到2000千米,

so in principle only this one base is needed to serve the world.

因此从原则上来讲,只需要用这一个基地就能为世界客户服务。

Airbus will, though, offer a portable ground-station and launching services in other parts of the world,

但为了那些不愿在澳大利亚等待无人机降落的当地客户,

for those customers who do not wish to wait for a craft to arrive under its own (or, rather, the sun's) power from Australia.

空中客车公司将在世界其他地方建立一个便携式地面接收站并提供发射服务。

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