High Altitude Long Endurance
High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Airships have been under research since the late 1950s, and are now within reach to all industry due to continuous technological breakthroughs in the development of the materials and key systems. HALE airships have very high commercial potential: they can be used as a cellular phone (S-UMTS) base station, passenger information system, digital broadcast, remote monitoring, metropolitan area network. They can also be an effective solution in disaster management providing necessary communication platform when the terrestrial infrastructure is damaged. Stratospheric long endurance platforms can be placed in the upper atmosphere in a geo-synchronous position and remain in the same place by motoring into the prevailing wind. Typically, stratospheric airships operate at 70,000ft, where airspace is uncontrolled and the atmosphere is calmest. The platform can be positioned over a given point for a period of 3 to 5 years, and once the airship is launched it will function without further maintenance.