Members Discuss the Future of HAPS at Alliance Member Meeting

From 14-16 November  2023, members of the HAPS Alliance gathered in person for its Member Meeting at Capgemini: Applied Innovation Exchange in San Francisco, California, to explore HAPS technology solutions that can solve problems around the globe.

With three keynote presentations and five member presentations, there was no shortage of rich discussion at the event.

In his opening remarks, Ken Riordan, HAPS Alliance President and Principal Architect at Nokia Federal Division, discussed how far the Alliance has come in its three years of existence and reiterated its simple goal: connecting the unconnected.

Keynote Presentations

The Alliance heard from three esteemed keynote speakers as they discussed the challenges, strengths, and future of HAPS. Topics included the challenges of integrating diverse aerial vehicles into the airspace system, strategies for higher airspace operations and HAPS, and member’s infrastructure development plans to support HAPS operations further.

Working Group Updates

The Marketing Communications Working Group highlighted the Alliance’s successful presence at Mobile World Congress Barcelona in February 2023 and emphasized the importance of targeted messaging to educate a wider audience about the potential of HAPS technology. They discussed achievements, including a successful podcast launch and statistics from events, emphasizing the importance of face-to-face interactions. Looking forward, the group plans to release a Telecommunications Working Group white paper and future podcast episodes.

The Telecommunications Working Group shared its current goals within the Alliance, including working to advance the global HAPS ecosystem for telecommunications use cases through education, research, regulatory advocacy and technical standards. In the coming year, they plan to make standards contributions to multiple groups and regulatory guidance in support of HAPS solutions.

The Aviation Working Group provided an overview of their achievements and future goals within the HAPS Alliance. Key accomplishments in 2023 include the completion and approval of white papers on terminology, operations at scale, HAPS risk framework, and certification challenges. The group also conducted an operations tempo analysis to showcase the industry’s growth potential. Looking ahead to 2024, the goals of the Aviation Working Group include increased participation in global bodies, as well as the reopening of the terminology paper, focusing on international interoperability, and a global air traffic management approach.

Special Presentations

Five special presentations were given on a variety of HAPS-related topics, including stratospheric weather models and forecasting and its benefits to HAPS operations, methane monitoring and detection in HAPS vehicles, and the importance of investing resources into Higher Airspace Management (HAMS).

What’s Next for the Alliance?

With the overall theme focused on the future of the HAPS Alliance and the evolution of its mission, the member meeting fostered important collaboration and discussion as the Alliance moves into a new era.

Since its last meeting in July, the HAPS Alliance has gained 19 new members, all representing a vast array of industries, including higher education, government, research, manufacturing, and more. The HAPS Alliance now has an astounding 79 members, all working together to realize the Alliance’s goals. Interested in being a part of the HAPS Alliance, which is working to connect the unconnected? Find out more about membership here.