High Altitude Long Endurance Airships
Körber Prize for engineering excellence
Stratospheric flight offers opportunities nearly as broad as space flight. Today the potential of stratospheric flight is largely untapped, but in the future HALE airships will compete with spacecraft in a large variety of applications.
Stratospheric long endurance platforms can be placed in the upper atmosphere in a geo-synchronous position and remain in the same place by motoring into the prevailing wind. Typically, stratospheric airships operate at 70,000ft, where airspace is uncontrolled and the atmosphere is calmest.
HALE airships tend to be very large, and can measure between 200 and 300 ft long. The platform can be positioned over a given point for a period of 3 to 5 years, and once the airship is launched it should function without further maintenance.
HALE airships have very high commercial potential: they can be used as a cellular phone (S-UMTS) base station, passenger information system, digital broadcast, remote monitoring, metropolitan area network. They can be also an effective solution in disaster management providing necessary communication platform when the terrestrial infrastructure is damaged.
High Altitude Long Endurance Airships have been under research since the late 1950s, and are now within reach to all industry due to continuous technological breakthroughs in the development of the materials and key systems.
In 1999 Lindstrand Technologies, in partnership with Daimler Chrysler Aerospace of Germany, was awarded a design contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a High Altitude Long Endurance airship for possible use in the telecommunications market. As a result of this, Per Lindstrand was awarded the German-based Körber Prize for engineering excellence