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TLC, Hispasat and Thales Alenia Space to demo balloon technology for 4G/5G

Hispasat and Thales Alenia Space wil demo on October 2018 balloon technology for 4G/5G with Stratobus HAPS

Spanish satellite operator Hispasat and Thales Alenia Space are joining the forces to prepare a stratospheric balloon demonstration for 4G/5G telecom applications. “Scheduled for October 2018 in southern Spain, the demonstration will test 4G/5G applications by allowing direct communications between smartphones and a High-Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) – a stratospheric balloon in this case,” a press release by the joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33 %), announced. “To match the early interest of Hispasat for the innovative market of HAPS, Thales Alenia Space, serving as prime contractor for this demonstration and offering its payload expertise of 4G/5G telecommunication missions, is teaming up with Spanish company Zero 2 Infinity, S.L., which will provide the stratospheric balloon, while Thales Alenia Space is developing the future full-scale stratospheric airship, Stratobus”.

The Stratobus HAPS is a halfway between a drone and a satellite and will offer autonomous and permanent TLC regional coverage

HAPS, according to the European Space Agency (ESA), are stratospheric platforms that stay over a fixed point on Earth from weeks to months. Compared to ground-based systems, towers or aircraft, HAPS operate quasi-stationarily at an altitude of approximately 20 km. This allows them to complement or extend the capabilities of satellites in the domains of Earth Observation, Telecommunication and Navigation with the potential to further integrate with ground-based infrastructure, as in the case of Hispasat and Thales Alenia Space. Stratobus is designed to take the place of the platform currently being developed by Thales Alenia Space as a complement to geostationary satellites. It’s described as “halfway between a drone and a satellite” and is a low-cost product, that will offer autonomous and permanent regional coverage

Photo Credits: Thales Alenia Space

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