University of York Plans October Test of High Altitude Platform

Two weeks ago I wrote about research on high altitude platforms for communications. In another indication that this technology may soon make its way out of the lab and into the sky, the University of York and others in the consortium behind the CAPANINA project will hold a HAP week conference from Oct. 23-27 at the University of York. The CAPANINA project uses balloons, airships or unmanned solar powered planes as HAPs to relay wireless and optical communications.

The group will use a U.S.-built unmanned aerial vehicle to conduct tests in Arizona days before the HAP week conference.

"The potential of the system is huge, with possible applications ranging from communications for disaster management and homeland security, to environmental monitoring and providing broadband for developing countries," said CAPNINA's principal scientific officer Dr. David Grace. "So far, we have considered a variety of aerial platforms, including airships, balloons, solar-powered unmanned planes and normal aeroplanes--the latter will probably be particularly suited to establish communications very swiftly in disaster zones."

For more information, refer to The University of York Web site and the additional links on its Web page.