There is a lot of expected return on investment for Commercializing Stratospheric Operations for military, scientific, and private industry markets. The development of aircraft, payloads, subsystems and propulsion for this type of effort has been in work for a while. These technologies are finally being integrated so that commercializing the stratosphere is real and will be done within the next 3-5 years.
Swift believes both are required, and even with collaboration from balloons and satellites, but as a steppingstone, the focus should be on the cheaper, efficient, smaller, but still capable solar craft. This should meet a SWaP target of the payload being ~22 lbs, about a shoebox or two in size, and have an operational requirement of <250watt continuous. Multiple aircraft carrying that size SWaP target 1) allows for technologies now and in development to be commercialized and tested while 2) keeping the overall development of the aircraft/payloads, mission operations, and MRO costs down.
This trade study should result in a HALE UAS capable of achieving a payload SWaP during operations (both day and night) of at least 22 lbs, 250 watts operational (based on market research), and fit within 1 or 2 shoebox size configuration. This vehicle will be designed to have modular payload capabilities, some of which are photogrammetry, gas-particle collection, ISR, maritime, observation overtime periods, disaster relief, communication relay, and other scientific research requirements. Swift developed 50+ mission sets with NASA representatives in the design of the current configuration UAS that will be expanded under this SOW. This paper describes Swift’s HALE UAS technology as it currently stands and what is to be achieved to meet the mission outlined in this NASA topic.
ROSES, scientific research, Urban Air Mobility (UAM), air traffic management, disaster relief, communication relay, internet services, stratospheric gaseous observation, understanding the atmosphere, extreme hazardous storm and weather condition observation, long-term persistent area observation and analysis (erosion), satellite payload testing, operational services, air quality monitoring, agricultural monitoring, polar observation, coastal zone monitoring, vegetation incubation, surface topography, and many more.
US DOD HAPS, port security, search and rescue, fire-fighting observation, persistent ISR, maritime observation, telecommunications, 5G-internet, disaster relief, payload testing, hypersonic observation, air traffic management, dropping sensors, and more. We have spoken to private customers, USAF, SOCOM, Army, Navy, and other Gov agencies interested in this technology.