dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
'Blimpband' Test Successful
First low altitude stratellite tests conducted in desert
by Karl Bode 10:01AM Monday Oct 23 2006
We've long discussed the idea of the Stratellite, giant airships positioned 13 miles up, able to provide broadband and wireless service to a land-mass roughly the size of Texas. The first prototype was unveiled last April, and the first low altitude tethered test was conducted last week in the Mojave Desert. According to the company press release, the goal was simply to test the structural integrity and overall balance of the airship in uncontrolled atmospheric conditions (high res photo available here).

These initial tests will be tethered, and the airships will be about one-fifth the size of the real thing, according to the company. This test airship is floated at 45,000 feet for several hours; the real thing is expected to stay aloft for 18 months at a time. The testing will continue for some 90 days, and once the tethered tests are done, they will conduct free-flight tests at the Air Force Test Range at Edwards Air Force Base.

view:
topics flat nest 

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

4 edits

Well it sounds good

On paper but these things floating at extreme altitude with some kind of station keeping equipment, any kind of breakdown in these thrusters, massive upward firing electrical storms such a blue, and Red spirits etc and these things will be gone. But at least they are trying.

Now if these blimps have a metallic coating a hamradio operator could use them to bounce signals over the horizon.
I have done this with high flying aircraft it is kind of fun.

I do see a military application for this. Park one of these things over a battle field area where their is no threats from high altitude anti aircraft missiles and you have quick VHF and UHF repeater to expand the coverage of hand held communication equipment.
--
The older I get the more I prefer the company of my dogs over that of man kind.

DaSneaky1D
what's up
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-29
The Lou
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Well it sounds good

Actually, I heard that they will coat the underbody of the blimp with a bandpass spray to only allow their signals to be reflected.

Why make the investment if your competition can reap the benefit?

sarcasm hint (lol)
--
:: my trivial ramblings ::

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

1 edit

Re: Well it sounds good

said by DaSneaky1D:

Actually, I heard that they will coat the underbody of the blimp with a bandpass spray to only allow their signals to be reflected.

Why make the investment if your competition can reap the benefit?

sarcasm hint (lol)
I wish there was a bandpass, or a notch spray that would sure make it easy to block out that high power AM broadcast band station from getting into everything in the shack. I think that would be nice is at least in a building thus protected you would not have a aluminium skull cap.
--
The older I get the more I prefer the company of my dogs over that of man kind.
JonnyBlaze_

join:2004-07-22
Ashland City, TN
quote:
Now if these blimps have a metallic coating a hamradio operator could use them to bounce signals over the horizon.

Hmm, do we see a new operating mode coming along? Earth-blimp-earth.

Not sure if the whole aircraft thing was sarcasm or not, but that sounds interesting, and kinda challenging. I've done sats before, and I certainly have heard of EME, but bouncing a signal off an aircraft w/o some method of tracking? Sounds like a good way to do fairly long distance comms on VHF.

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Well it sounds good

said by JonnyBlaze_:

quote:
Now if these blimps have a metallic coating a hamradio operator could use them to bounce signals over the horizon.

Hmm, do we see a new operating mode coming along? Earth-blimp-earth.

Not sure if the whole aircraft thing was sarcasm or not, but that sounds interesting, and kinda challenging. I've done sats before, and I certainly have heard of EME, but bouncing a signal off an aircraft w/o some method of tracking? Sounds like a good way to do fairly long distance comms on VHF.
No I am not pulling your leg on the Aircraft thing. What you do is point a hi-gain beam high enough above the horizon to clear ground obstructions. A just wait transmitting and listening. The QSO is not long just about enough to exchange calls but I have talked from Cheyenne well into New Mexico with a HT on an Arrow Beam.
--
The older I get the more I prefer the company of my dogs over that of man kind.

Tzale
Proud Libertarian Conservative
Premium
join:2004-01-06
NYC Metro
said by Transmaster:

On paper but these things floating at extreme altitude with some kind of station keeping equipment, any kind of breakdown in these thrusters, massive upward firing electrical storms such a blue, and Red spirits etc and these things will be gone. But at least they are trying.

Now if these blimps have a metallic coating a hamradio operator could use them to bounce signals over the horizon.
I have done this with high flying aircraft it is kind of fun.

I do see a military application for this. Park one of these things over a battle field area where their is no threats from high altitude anti aircraft missiles and you have quick VHF and UHF repeater to expand the coverage of hand held communication equipment.
haha, my thoughts exactly. I just got involved with 6 meter Meteor Scatter. Boy am I having fun making 1500 mile contacts on a band that has no propagation thanks to bouncing signals off meteors falling to Earth. Could you imagine a blimp sitting up there 24X7? They already do it with passenger jets, repeater in the sky!

-Tzale
--
»www.stop-us-military-aid-to-israel.net/
FACTS NOT PROPAGANDA

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

Re: Well it sounds good

If you are set up for meteor scatter try doing the same thing with Aurora's, and of course there is Moon bounce that that is really interesting.
--
The older I get the more I prefer the company of my dogs over that of man kind.

Kylemaul
Lovin' My Firefox
Premium
join:2001-03-30
Buffalo, NY
said by Transmaster:

On paper but these things floating at extreme altitude with some kind of station keeping equipment, any kind of breakdown in these thrusters, massive upward firing electrical storms such a blue, and Red spirits etc and these things will be gone. But at least they are trying.
What elevations can 'massive upward firing electrical storms' reach? According to the release, this thing hangs out at 65,000 feet.

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Well it sounds good

= Kylemaul See Profile What elevations can 'massive upward firing electrical storms' reach? According to the release, this thing hangs out at 65,000 feet.
go here: »elf.gi.alaska.edu/

Red sprites and Blue Jet top out at about 95 km above the cloud tops of a thunderstorm.
--
The older I get the more I prefer the company of my dogs over that of man kind.

Kylemaul
Lovin' My Firefox
Premium
join:2001-03-30
Buffalo, NY

Re: Well it sounds good

Thanks for the info and great link. Sounds like they'll need to put a lightning rod on the bottom of the blimp! I'm not sure how powerful these are, but at a quick glance, it looks like they are about 1/5 the power of normal lightning.

nekote

join:2000-12-16
Hopkinton, MA

Photo of prototype???

Errr, ummm, the proposed rigid airships are supposed to have more of a flattened "whale" type of shape, rather than classical tube.

From that angle, the blimp in the photo appears to be more of the classical shape.

???
--
Government is like fire - a dangerous servant and a fearful master - George Washington

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all other forms of government. - Winston Churchill

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

Re: Photo of prototype???

This early test version is not what the final version will look like, and is significantly smaller...

nekote

join:2000-12-16
Hopkinton, MA

Re: Photo of prototype???

So, what is it that is being prototyped / evaluated?

Materials?
Electronic widget operational parameters?
Wind patterns / effects?

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Photo of prototype???

said by nekote:

So, what is it that is being prototyped / evaluated?

Materials?
Electronic widget operational parameters?
Wind patterns / effects?
Sanswire expects to test the airship over a period of at least 90 days. The testing will be performed to evaluate the entire integrated airship system. The first test of the structural loads and lifting qualities has been completed and will soon be followed by further airframe tests to ensure airship readiness for a dynamic flight environment. Upon installation of the avionics suite and propulsion system, a series of low altitude tethered tests and then, a series of high altitude tests will take place. At each stage of testing, Sanswire's engineers will evaluate the airship's flight qualities to determine if the airship is working within its design parameters. Throughout the systems testing data will be analyzed to qualify the airship design, with redesign accomplished as needed.
--
The older I get the more I prefer the company of my dogs over that of man kind.
Yeah that test wasn't even a proof-of-concept exercise. More like a "see, we're doing something" dog and pony show for potential investors. Kind of like driving a Corolla around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and stating "Hey! We can really move! Wait until we figure out how to do it in traffic!!".

By the time they actually produce a functional prototype it'll all be irrelevant.

qdemn7
Smurf in My Loop
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Fort Worth, TX

Bad Link

Object not found!

The requested URL was not found on this server. The link on the referring page seems to be wrong or outdated. Please inform the author of that page about the error.

If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster

Error 404

www.sanswire.com
Mon 23 Oct 2006 10:55:38 AM EDT
Apache/2.0.40 (Red Hat Linux)
--
“Teaching music is not in accordance with the Islamic establishment, and teaching music to schoolchildren brings corruption.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Supreme Leader of Iran

cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3

Re: Bad Link

Yup bad link, or maybe they have been dugg.

Interesting idea. Didn't know there was any 'bandpass spray' possible. How does that work, any links?

drjim
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-13
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3

Re: Bad Link

»j-walk.com/other/wifispray/

c0de

join:2004-10-14
Richmond, VA

Re: Bad Link

ROFFLECAUST

cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3
LOL
KevinKimmich

join:2006-10-19
Chardon, OH

Economics of this thing

I've been reading stories on this topic for a while. I wonder about the economics of a stratellite compared to cell towers for civilian networks, and satellites for military networks. I wonder if the niche between those types of RF networks exists; I am kind of skeptical.
jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH

1 recommendation

Bye-Bye

One good thing from this: It should help satalite internet so that it is more reliable, faster, and cheaper... or just kill it altogether.

Say goodbye to BPL and BGL (Gas-Band). This kind of thing, if successfull (I expect it will be), would almost surely provide better services cheaper to a wider audience than any of those offerings.

Poster Child

@verizon.net

Re: Bye-Bye

"Say goodbye to BPL and BGL (Gas-Band). This kind of thing, if successfull (I expect it will be), would almost surely provide better services cheaper to a wider audience than any of those offerings."
Maybe so, but I still think that BSL (Broadband over Sewerage Line) has a lot of promise.

antiserious
The Future ain't what it used to be
Premium
join:2001-12-12
Scranton, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

... a better pic ...


... of the 'HAA' (High Altitude Aircraft) ... I hope they can get this to work in practical applications, it's a great idea for areas the telco's haven't chosen to offer broadband ...

--
... " how can we miss you if you won't GO AWAY ! " ...
Doom3654

join:2006-09-08

gaming?

just wondering will you be able to play online games with this connection? or will it be just like a satelite connection?

nekote

join:2000-12-16
Hopkinton, MA

Re: gaming?

The additional latency should be close to nil.

13 miles up, and down.
Versus 23,000 miles or so, each way to a geo-synchronus satellite.

Heck, 300 miles each way to Motorola's doomed Iridium satellite phone system seemed to work.
--
Government is like fire - a dangerous servant and a fearful master - George Washington

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all other forms of government. - Winston Churchill

alg
Passionately apathetic
Premium
join:2001-04-10
Houston, TX
kudos:3

Re: gaming?

said by nekote:

Versus 23,000 miles or so, each way to a geo-synchronus satellite.
Pretty much completely OT, but I love how some people think that they can somehow get around that fact and 'hack' their satellite connections to get more normal pings.
--
So many loosers, so few wrenches and screwdrivers. By the way, just randomly choose between there, their, and they're when you type a post.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: gaming?

said by alg:

Pretty much completely OT, but I love how some people think that they can somehow get around that fact and 'hack' their satellite connections to get more normal pings.
Dude have you tried that sub-space particle hack?


--
"Regulatory capitalism is when companies invest in lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians, instead of plant, people, and customer service." - former FCC Chairman William Kennard (A real FCC Chairman, unlike the current Corporate Spokesperson in the job!)

nekote

join:2000-12-16
Hopkinton, MA

Re: ... a better pic ...

That was the type of prototype pic I remembered.

Multiple test beds?

Sumthin' don't seem quite kosher.

Jovi
Premium
join:2000-02-24
Mount Joy, PA

Bad url

Just take out the "s" in stratellites

»www.sanswire.com/stratellite.htm