Thales receives study contract for a Stratobus type platform

France launches concept study for a Stratobus type HAPS – link

Source: Jane’s 

A concept of the Stratobus type platform that Thales is to develop into a HAPS platform for the French military. Source: Thales

Article Headlines

  • The French defence procurement agency Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) has signed a contract with Thales and Thales Alenia Space to conduct a concept study regarding ISR applications for a Stratobus-type platform
  • Stratobus is a stratospheric airship high altitude pseudo satellite (HAPS) designed by Thales and Thales Alenia Space
  • It is intended to fly at an altitude of more than 65,500 ft and can be used for different missions including ISR and communications both for civilian and military purposes
  • A full-scale demonstrator concept will also be studied
  • The original Stratobus concept presented by Thales is for a 115 m long and weighs nearly 7 tonnes. In standard configuration it can carry 250 kg of payload with a power rating of 5 kW. For specific missions at the equator, the platform’s payload capacity could reach 450 kg and a rating of 8 kW
  • According to Thales the Stratobus is designed for five-year missions with annual servicing

Overview & Comments

  • Additional HAPS programs to be watched out for:
  • Airbus Zephyr – After suffering two safety incidents in 2019 current progress is unknown
  • UAVOS ApusDuo – Recently completed a test flight of its modified ApusDuo. According to the company, the next step in the HAPS ApusDuo project is the new prototype, with a wingspan of 28 meters, and the ability to carry eight kilograms
  • Aurora Flight Sciences Odysseus – Currently in development with a planned payload of 25 kg with an enormous wingspan of 74 meters
  • BAE Phasa-35 – In collaboration with Prismatic the Persistent High-Altitude Solar Aircraft (hence PHASA) will obtain a 35-meter wingspan and will weigh 150 kg. A quarter scale model (PHASE-8) flew its maiden flight in 2017
  • Aerovironment HAWK30 – Assembled this year the HAWK30 is designed to serve a 200-kilometer area from a position 20 kilometers in the atmosphere to create a network of multiple HAWK30s to provide wireless communications and the additional bandwidth needed to support the emerging 5G standard and the Internet of Things
  • China’s CAAA Caihong – Obtains a wingspan of over 40. The aircraft performed its maiden flight in 2017

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