Wireless Spewing Airships Get Another Name

from the what-to-call-them? dept

It seems that lots of folks have come up with the idea of providing wireless broadband connectivity by employing some form of floating air ship that covers a wide area. What’s amusing to me, though, is that every time someone comes up with such a plan, they come up with a different name to call it. First, there were the stratelites, which were floating blimps that would provide satellite style wireless broadband from a lower altitude. Then, there were the aerostats, which would float high up in the air, but were still tethered to the ground. The tether would be a fiber optic cable, which would provide the backhaul connection. Now, the latest plan calls them “HAPs” for “high-altitude platforms”, and this plan comes from a consortium of communications companies and research institutes who have been given a little bit of money. Of course, there are still a ton of technical and business model questions to be answered – so chances are there will be a few more iterations with a few more new names before anyone is actually using such a system.

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Comments on “Wireless Spewing Airships Get Another Name”

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William C. Euler says:


All the marketing hype sounds wonderful, but has anyone checked the science/engineering of such a stable(?) platform. Thirteen miles equates to approximately 65,000 feet. GPS is a wonderful station keeping “sensor”, but how much power would be required to keep such a large profile stable in jet-stream like winds, thunderstorms or other high-altitude disturbances. Some technical fact and some beleivable analysis would sure help inprove confidence in such a radical project.

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