GlobeTel foresees a fleet of helium-filled "stratellites," each able to stay aloft for months at a time and automatically held on station by electric motors powered by batteries charged by solar cells.
They would relay communications services including voice, broadband, high-definition TV, interactive high-definition TV and satellite radio at a cost far lower than traditional satellites in orbit, the company contends, and could also have military and government uses for surveillance and remote sensing.
"When we prove what we can do the military will use this immediately," Coleman said.
By positioning "stratellites" at an altitude more than a dozen miles high, the developers hope to minimize the effects of winds. There are still winds at 65,000 feet but the lower density of the atmosphere, combined with the shape of the "stratellite," should allow the motors to hold it in position, the developers believe.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Prototype of Unmanned Airship Is Unveiled