Alphabet´s Loon LLC and SoftBank Corp.´s HAPSMobile Inc. have developed a communications payload for HAPSMobile´s HAWK30, a solar-powered unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that flies in the stratosphere, the companies said.
The initiative to design and develop the communications payload for the HAWK30 follows an announcement last April between Loon and HAPSMobile where the companies formed a strategic relationship. The partnership grew out of a joint recognition of the untapped potential of the stratosphere to enhance the connectivity ecosystem and bring more people, places, and things online.
Since the April 2019 announcement, technical teams from Loon and HAPSMobile worked together to adapt the payload technology already used on Loon´s stratospheric balloons for the HAWK30.
The effort leveraged Loon´s expertise in building communications payloads that are capable of enduring the difficult conditions of the stratosphere for long-periods of time, where winds can reach speeds of 100km/h and temperatures can drop to as low as -90 degrees celsius. Loon built its first stratospheric payload in 2011.
To date, the company has flown over 40 million kilometers and connected over 300,000 people with its complete stratospheric flight system.
Loon´s mission is to connect people everywhere by inventing and integrating audacious technologies. By leveraging these advanced technologies, Loon is making it possible to expand Internet access to the billions who currently lack it.
HAPSMobile Inc. is a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) that plans and operates a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business with the aim of bridging the world´s digital divide. For more information, visit https://www.hapsmobile.com.