- The model LA-252 Aist will be tested at a height of nine to 13 miles and could be used as a communication device, repeater and Wi-Fi transmitter
Russia is testing solar-powered drones that can fly for days at a time above the clouds.
If the trial is successful the large glider-like drones could perform some of the same functions as today's space satellites.
The model LA-252 Aist will be tested at a height of nine to 13 miles (15 - 21 kilometres) and can be used as a communication device, repeater and Wi-Fi transmitter.
The device was developed by Lavochkin Research and Production Association, based in the city of Khimki in western Russia's Moscow Oblast.
Vadim Kozyulin, a professor from Russia’s Academy of Military Science, claims that the drone can fly above the clouds for several days without landing and noted that it is a very promising field of pilot-free aviation.
He said: 'Russia has recently increased its investment in the field of development of unmanned aircraft.
'There are various projects. Some of those are strategic ones.'
Scientists say the device could work in tandem with space satellites.
Mr Kozyulin added that these days it is essential to develop means of observation and control.
He believes that in cities drones are the best technology to do that with.
The solar panels of the drone will allow the device to charge its battery regardless of the weather.
In June of this year a solar-powered drone developed by China reached 65,000 feet during a near-space flight test.
The made-in-China plane has a 'super long range' and could stay in the air for months - or even years - according to Chinese state media.
A member of the country's Rainbow drone series, the unmanned aircraft is expected to carry out various tasks, including anti-terrorist assignments and disaster relief works.
The flight test was recently held at an unnamed airport in north-east China, reported state broadcaster China Central Television Station (CCTV) on June 1.
The Rainbow drone reached 65,000 feet (20 kilometres), nearly twice the altitude of a commercial airliner.