Member Spotlight: Stratospheric Platforms Ltd. on Delivering Value through the HAPS Ecosystem

By Stratospheric Platforms Limited Commercial Vice President, Neal Unitt-Jones

Group advocacy is an important means to realizing all the advantages that HAPS technology brings to the ecosystem. Regulation is a vital part of our industry; it’s great that we can speak with one voice through the HAPS Alliance and deliver value to the entire ecosystem.

Stratospheric Platforms Limited (SPL) is a very agile, problem-solving company and is the designer and soon-to-be builder of the next generation of HAPS aircraft. We’ve brought together fresh academics and industry “lifers” to create an effective business team.

Our expertise in advanced RF modeling is solving the problem of delivering data to the masses and our innovations in hydrogen storage will aim to bring the first liquid-hydrogen-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to market years before they become mainstream. Called the StratoMast, it’s a rigid airframe composite aircraft with a large phased-array 5G antenna.

Collaboration as a HAPS Alliance Member

SPL’s special experience and capabilities will, we hope, enrich the activities of the Alliance and streamline the approach to its mission.

We came to the Alliance in rather an organic way. SPL’s first institutional investor was Deutsche Telekom AG, a founding member of the HAPS Alliance, so it was a natural progression that SPL would join in due course. It was easy to see the value of the HAPS Alliance, as a trade body that brings together companies working in the same field so that they can learn from each other and have a collective voice on the world stage.

All member companies have a similar goal, which is to make HAPS a part of normal life — until that happens, a union of the willing is a great first step. The goals of the HAPS Alliance meshes well with our own, and thus we have been eager to participate.

I like to think about the inevitability of HAPS technology. No longer is it just a fantasy subject; companies are putting aircraft in the stratosphere for many use cases. In the telecom sector, for example, networks will break free of the ground to exploit the atmosphere — this is a new, vertical territory with hardly anything in it.

The fact that HAPS promises benefits for technology companies, network operators, and users alike makes me feel great about our work and being part of the Alliance.