Saturday, May 14, 2016

StratoBus: half drone, halfway between a drone and a satellite

StratoBus is a stationary stratospheric airship, offering autonomous operation and suited to multiple missions.
It measures 100 meters long with a maximum diameter of 33 meters (328 x 108 ft), and weighs less than 5 metric tons.
Designed to operate at an altitude of 20 kilometers (about 66,000 ft), above the jet stream and air traffic, StratoBus can carry a payload of up to 250 kg (550 lb), with 5 kilowatts of onboard power.
StratoBus doesn’t need a launch vehicle to reach “orbit”. 
It takes just four hours to reach the stratosphere, and about the same to come back down.
Its operating economics make it a real “low-cost” product, extremely competitive for regional civil or military applications, including telecommunications, navigation, observation (especially surveillance), etc.
The program is led by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor.

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