October 20, 2006 Sanswire’s vision for mass deployment of its specialized Stratellite airship have moved a step closer when its Sanswire 2A technology demonstrator completed its first outdoor, low altitude, float test. The company’s concept of placing a communications platform into the stratosphere can fundamentally change how the world delivers wireless telecommunications, and the way we communicate. Advances in composite structures, photovoltaics, man-made fabrics, electric motors and energy storage technologies have propelled today’s stratellite far above the great, rigid airships of the early 20th century from which it is descendent, and have put the near-space altitude of 65,000 feet within reach. The solar-powered Stratellite is an advanced rigid composite lighter-than-air vehicle designed to operate either as an unmanned autonomous or remotely piloted system at stratospheric altitudes in geostationary locations. Due to their operating altitudes of 12-13 miles from earth, as opposed to satellites that operate from a distant 22,000 miles away, Stratellites can provide a superior and fully reclaimable method for operating advanced wireless communications and monitoring services. With payload capacities measured in tons, and the ability to return to its base station on command, the Stratellite provides a cost-effective delivery system for broadband voice, data and video services, reducing reliance on “near real time” capabilities of satellites and the slow download speeds of copper based terrestrial networks.
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