Solar-powered Wing Gets Okay to Fly over Lana'i in Hawaiian Island Chain (Credit: Meteorologist Jessica Olsen, & HAPSMobile)
DISCUSSION: HAPSMobile, created December 21st, 2017 headquartered in Japan, was established to provide research, development, operation and management of solar HAPS (High Altitude Platform Station) and networking devices, by challenging the infrastructure of our existing technologies to help connect those around the world.
The actual HAPS station will be located in the stratosphere. The reason for this altitude is that in this area weather is often mild providing little wind speed for the HAPSMobile. The HAPSMobile HAWK30 is one in a fleet of solar-powered flying wings. The wingspan is 78 meters with a cruise speed of 110km/h with a flight duration of several months while running on a high energy density lithium ion battery. There are several potential uses to this solar powered wing, that could prove to be beneficial to various societies.
According the HAPSMobile it operates as a cell site with radio coverage of 200km in diameter, allowing carriers to deliver telecom network in a specific area with low cost. Sprint currently has filed a request with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to test the capability of transmitting signals from ground equipment to the HAWK30 above the island of Lana'i in Hawai’i. HAPSMobile received a Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly the HAWK30 in Lanai’s stratosphere. While it is expected to fly at a relatively low altitude in comparison to say other items providing radio coverage, this will likely use the same frequency as one of a ground cellular site, making coverage in rural areas much more attainable. In addition to the potential for coverage in rural areas the implication for use during disasters could serve as a critical piece to the puzzle for responders who are faced with the daunting task of downed ground signal sites.
For other information on aviation, drones or other stratospheric events visit the Global Weather and Climate Center!
© 2019 Meteorologist Jessica Olsen
HAPS MOBILE. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2019, from https://www.hapsmobile.com/en/