Solar powered, unmanned Hawk30 HAPS drone. Constructed in April this year it has finally taken to the skies above Hawaii. The drone will provide a stratospheric telecommunications platform. Currently flying above Lanai, a Hawaiian island. The device has a 78M wingspan. This drone can remain in the air for months. They will be flying between the heights of 65,000 feet and 80,000 feet.
In contrast to normal radio communications towers, Hawk30 will be sending its transmissions downwards instead of horizontally.
Clearly there are many uses for this drone. Conservation for one. Being able to check levels of surface water quickly across a wide area of land. The process will be done quickly and without needing to send people out to remote areas to check sensors etc.
An acronym standing for High Altitude Pseudo Satellite or High Altitude Platform System.
HAPS Mobile sponsored the project in collaboration with Facebook. Based in Japan, the company are heavily into connecting societies around the world via information. HAPS Mobile are also a subsidiary of Softbank Corp. They also have a strategic relationship with Loon. Loon is a subsidiary of Alphabet. And Alphabet, of course, is Google’s parent company.
The HAWK30 is basically going to be flying around just above the ozone layer beaming down information and receiving at the same time. Due to its active height this will allow it to cover a very large area. The plan is to have an armada of them just gliding around aiding in connecting the 5G world.
Each drone can cover a circular area with a diameter of around 200km.
Current smartphones and IoT devices will work with this network.
In consequence, these devices will be extremely useful in times of natural disasters. The ability to give a constant data feed across a large area will be vital to saving lives.
This will also allow mobile phone operators to offer networks at a lower cost. In an ideal world this would be passed along to the consumers.
It really could be quite the game changer. Suddenly many people in remote areas will have good internet. That’s a huge development. There are usually negatives with the positives though. With that in mind, spare a thought for the Hawaiian local who cannot collect native plants from the airstrip location. It used to be agricultural land and he used to use them for traditional and customary practise. Thus, progress drives on through.
Images above sourced from HAPS Mobile.
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