The NASA Science Mission Directorate has a critical need for a high-altitude long-endurance platform to support extended duration NASA Earth Science missions studying the environment. Potential solutions include satellites, high altitude balloons, and manned observation aircraft. These solutions all have limitations related to persistence, resolution, flexibility, and control. To overcome these limitations and deliver the robust capability the NASA Science Mission Directorate requires, Skydweller US Inc. proposes development of a solar-powered Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) that combines the persistence of a geostationary satellite with the operational flexibility and powerful sensing capabilities of a large surveillance aircraft.
As a persistent flight platform, the proposed Skydweller high-altitude pseudo satellite (HAPS) would enable a multitude of NASA science, communication, and testing missions.
Interest in HAPS for commercial applications such as telecommunications and governmental applications such as remote sensing and surveillance are receiving increasing interest, and the proposed Skydweller HAPS could meeting this emerging market need.