The journey of Aurora Flight Sciences’ Orion unmanned aircraft to the 2016 Laureate for Innovation is a story of perseverance and technical success in the face of changing requirements and uncertain funding. The Orion began life in 2006 as a U.S. Army project to demonstrate technology for a hydrogen-fueled high-altitude, long-loiter (HALL) unmanned aircraft capable of carrying payloads up to 400 lb. to altitudes up to 65,000 ft. and staying aloft for 100 hr. Orion HALL was a portly ...

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