HAA is an un-tethered, unmanned lighter-than-air vehicle that will operate above the jet stream above 70,000 feet (over 21 km high) in a geostationary position
May 1, 2009 The idea of replacing very expensive space based satellites and Aircraft mounted Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS) with stationary platforms inside Earth's atmosphere has been floated for decades. Despite the fact that lighter-than-air vehicles or airships that could fulfill this role have been flying for over 300 years, the idea is only now getting off the ground. Lockheed Martin has been chosen by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for a US$400 million contract to to design, build, test and fly a 1:3 scale model of an airship surveillance and telecommunications platform called the High Altitude Airship (HAA). The full scale HAA would measure 240 ft long by 70 ft in diameter, run entirely on solar power and be able to stay aloft for up to 10 years.