Altaeros Energies has announced the first testing of its Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) prototype that resembles a sort of blimp windmill. The test took place at the Loring Commerce Center in Limestone, Maine, USA where the AWT floated 350 feet (107 meters) into the sky and successfully produced power, before coming back to earth in a controlled landing. The turbine was deployed into the air from a towable docking trailer, while demonstrating that it can produce over twice the power at high altitudes than generated at conventional tower height
For decades, fans of airships have been hoping for a large-scale revival of the majestic floating aircraft. Every few years, lighter than air flying concepts come along to raise those hopes, such as Northrop Grumman’s Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle
, Skyhook’s JHL-40
, and DARPA’s Walrus
, which led to the current Aeroscraft ML866
project. Now there's another unique contender to the throw into the mix – Australia’s Skylifter. If it ever makes it to the skies, however, it’s sure to be the source of some bogus UFO sightings.
September 29, 2006 Lockheed Martin has received a US$10 million contract to further develop advanced material technology and next-generation hull material for DARPA's Integrated Sensor Is Structure (ISIS) program. The ISIS program will develop the core technologies necessary to integrate an extremely capable sensor package directly into the structure of stratospheric airships, which operate at approximately 70,000 feet. The planned capabilities of the ISIS project are straight out of a sci fi film – ISIS will provide a dynamic, detailed, real-time picture of all movement on or above the battlefield: friendly, neutral or enemy – a big picture map showing everything moving for hundreds of kilometers.
Lockheed Martin has delivered a 56,000-cubic-foot tethered aerostat surveillance system to the U.S. Army for deployment in Iraq. The aerostat is equipped with a variety of sensors which combine to provide a persistent surveillance capability in the defence of ground forces and high-value assets. The aerostat is currently being tested prior to transportation to Iraq.