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Introducing the Stratellite

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posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 09:18 AM
The Stratellite is powered by solar paneled electric engines. It will reside in the stratosphere (65,000 feet) instead of orbiting the Earth. These airships will provide major advantages such as 300,000 square miles line of sight and could power a metropolis as big as Texas.

US communications outfit Sanswire yesterday unveiled concrete evidence of its truly audacious plan to deliver line-of-sight wireless broadband and mobile phone signals to an area the size of Texas from a single transmission point. The company is not, however, planning a private satellite launch or 10,000-foot-high transmission mast disguised as a really big tree - rather it intends to deploy a fleet of geostationary, robotic airships hovering at a comfortable 65,000 feet above the Earth.

The makers reckon the "Stratellite" will "change the way you communicate", according to Sanswire parent GlobeTel Communications Corp supremo Leigh Coleman. He explained to Reuters: "We're shooting for satellite replacement at a lower cost."

Indeed, the 245-foot-long beast costs around $25-35m a pop - an absolute snip when compared to putting a coms satellite into orbit. It's controlled by ground-based stations and relies on six GPS units coupled to the vehicle's electric motors to make sure it stays put and you signal stays nice and crisp.

The reasoning behind the airships? Satellites, while good for one way high-speed communications are painfully slow when it comes to uploading data. The airships hope to resolve these issues.

Interesting to see thier proposed solution to satellites.

Check out these links, they include specs and even a sketch of what it will look like. So if anyone sees one of these monsters rising, don't call in a UFO sighting!

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 09:40 AM
Interesting! And indeed, I believe the future lies with satelites/stratelites..

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 09:41 AM
I heard about this on National Public Radio today. Thanks for the links!

It's an interesting tech, though I did wonder about its stability once it got into position and its longevity. Satellites are more costly, but they will stay up there (even if not working) until something knocks them down. I wonder how durable these will be.

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 10:08 AM
Just to further expand on this, it appears three companies are gearing up to build stratellites. One is a Canadian R&D firm called 21st Century Airships, who have a joint partnership with Atlanta's Techsphere Communications. Third is Sanswire who is owned by GlobeTel.OB/Sanswire There might be a fleet of 12 ships hovering above air traffic.

What makes 21st Century's airships unique is their orb-like shape. Unlike conventional, cigar-shaped blimps that must make wide turns to reposition when they veer off target, the Canadian firm's spheres use GPS detectors and propulsion engines to keep each floating station locked at desired coordinates. A well-known stratosphere-based wireless service provider that was established in 1997, SkyStation, uses cigar-shaped airships.

Techsphere CEO Keith Vierela believes stratosphere-based networks combine the strengths of terrestrial networks -- higher bandwidth, lower power requirements and proximity to users -- with those of satellite networks, which have wide coverage areas and unobstructed paths between transmitters in the sky and receivers on Earth.

Byrd, apparently they are made of Spectra which is apparently alot like Kevlar. Its supposed to be really tough material.

[edit on 13-4-2005 by Linux]


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