Member Spotlight with AeroVironment on the Benefits of the HAPS Alliance

HAPSMobile’s HAPS UAS, designed and developed by AeroVironment, takes flight

AeroVironment is a pioneer and global leader in HAPS unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). In the 1980s, AeroVironment invented the concept of solar-powered UAS for long endurance operation in the stratosphere to provide connectivity, remote sensing and other valuable capabilities. In partnership with NASA, we developed and demonstrated a series of solar HAPS systems, culminating in the world’s highest flight by a propeller-driven aircraft in 2001, when our Helios UAS reached an altitude of more than 96,000 feet above sea level. Working with Japan’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, AeroVironment demonstrated the world’s first successful 3G mobile communications and HDTV broadcast from the stratosphere in 2002 and performed a series of remote sensing demonstrations. We partnered with SoftBank Corp. in 2017 to establish HAPSMobile Inc. AeroVironment and HAPSMobile have developed and are testing the solar HAPS UAS with the goal of achieving flight certification and commencing commercial operations by deploying a constellation of these aircrafts.

As a pioneer in HAPS UAS and co-founder of HAPSMobile, AeroVironment seeks to unlock the vast potential of the stratosphere as a resource to serve humankind. The HAPS Alliance represents a coalition of leading global companies sharing a similar view of the opportunities for near-space applications. Unleashing the potential of the stratosphere requires a global team that is committed to this outcome, and the HAPS Alliance provides the means for generating broad awareness, technology development, regulatory change and governmental support.

AeroVironment is a pioneer and global leader in solar HAPS UAS design, development and operation. With SoftBank Corp., and through HAPSMobile, with which we have a equity and development partnership, AeroVironment provides experience, expertise and the most advanced solar HAPS UAS to further this industry and alliance.

With the development and continued successful demonstration of the solar-HAPS UAS, we are closer than ever to initiating commercial operations. The HAPS Alliance understands the value this nascent industry can deliver to the world and understands the importance of building the regulatory support required to enable it. HAPS will be a truly global industry and endeavor, and the HAPS Alliance is extremely well positioned to create the awareness and understanding necessary for global adoption.

The HAPS Alliance is very well situated to catalyze the growth of a valuable new capability for humankind. Members of the HAPS Alliance represent multiple industries and nations, and its reach, strength and focus will help build support and momentum. Specifically, accelerating commercial adoption and advocating for coordinated regulatory frameworks that will enable the safe growth of this industry represent significant opportunities for the HAPS Alliance.