Hispasat, the Spanish satellite communications operator and Thales Alenia Space, Joint Venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33 %), has announced today that they are jointly working on a flying stratospheric balloon demonstration for 4G/5G telecom applications. The objective of this demonstration will be for 4G/5G applications testing, to perform direct communications between smartphones and the HAPS, by October 2018, over the South of the Spanish territory.
To match the early interest of Hispasat for the innovative market of HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo Satellite), Thales Alenia Space, serving as prime contractor of the demonstration and offering its payload expertise of 4G/5G telecommunication mission is teaming with the Spanish Company Zero 2 Infinity, S.L., which will provide the balloon that will be used in the demonstration to replace the future airship that they are developing.
Carlos Espinós, CEO of Hispasat, stated that “in the framework of the development of innovating solutions to provide the best response to our customers’ needs, Hispasat supports for exploring the possibilities that new stratospheric platforms offer as complements to geostationary satellites. Therefore, we understand that stratospheric solutions bring greater flexibility and agility to the operations allowing to meet the needs of communications and connectivity inmediately with an infrastructure that provides a huge broadband with a minimum delay, at the same time avoiding all technical and economical limitations derived from the launching of objects to outer space. Moreover, it is a solution with an even more reduced environmental impact than that of satellites, which implies an additional advantage. We wish to keep standing within the technological frontline of satellite sector, and the solution that Thales Alenia Space offers with its platform is very interesting to us. We are happy to collaborate with a company that we are working with since long time in such novel and promising project“.
Jean Loïc Galle, CEO of Thales Alenia Space, declares: “Thales Alenia Space has proceed with its historical customer Hispasat with an incremental approach, since the first initial RFI sent by Hispasat. Thales Alenia Space is proud today to have the confidence of Hispasat on its HAPS dedicated solution: Stratobus™. Stratobus™ is neither a drone nor a satellite, but a stratospheric airship that combines the best of both worlds, making a low-cost product offering autonomous and permanent regional coverage, fully complementary to the satellite offer. StratobusTM is designed for a wide range of civil or military regional applications: telecommunications, navigation, surveillance and its position in the stratosphere at an attitude of 20 kilometers makes an optimal position for 4G and 5G telecommunication applications, direct to end user smartphone milliseconds”.