(H/T Sander Olson)
A Sanswire Stratellite is a specialized airship that is capable of carrying various payload with basic core mission of transmitting various types of wireless communications. Placing a communications platform into the stratosphere, in the form of an airship, has never been done before. Such a platform can fundamentally change how the world delivers wireless telecommunications and the way we as individuals communicate.
A Sanswire Stratellite is designed to operate at 65,000 feet and will integrate clean solar energy collection systems with advanced wireless communication and sensor systems to allow communities across the globe to rapidly deploy inexpensive, environmentally friendly infrastructure.
IEEE Spectrum : Sanswire-TAO’s ultimate goal is to loft an airship that can ascend to the lower stratosphere, about 18 kilometers up, and fly for weeks or even months at a time, says Dan Erdberg, vice president of operations for Sanswire. The vessel to be tested in Germany next week, the STS-111, is an interim step in that flight plan. It’s designed for altitudes of 4500 to 9000 meters and for missions of up to five days. The current flight-endurance record for a UAV according to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale is 30 hours
Video of Early Sanswire Test