Sceye HAPS soars into the stratosphere using renewable energy sources
ROSWELL, New Mexico–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sceye, a manufacturer of High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS), today announced that it has reached the stratosphere in an effort to demonstrate its ability to stay above an area of operation for months at a time using renewable energy sources. The launch of the milestone test, which uses patented solar power and battery power, puts Sceye on track to extend internet access to remote populations, monitor greenhouse gases down to individual emitters and detect natural disasters as soon as they begin. The company also announced additional test flights for the third and fourth quarters of 2022.
Sceye’s HAPS was launched at 6:55 a.m. MDT from the company’s hangar at Roswell International Airport.
“Today’s test flight holds tremendous potential for stratospheric discovery,” said Sceye Founder and CEO Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. “By maintaining our position in the stratosphere for long periods of time, we can begin to realize the promises of the stratosphere for life on Earth. Universal internet access, methane monitoring and wildfire detection are all at your fingertips. »
The objectives of today’s launch were:
Testing the sustainability and performance of renewable energy systems in the stratosphere
Demonstrate the ability to stay above an area of operation
Maintain a constant float altitude in the stratosphere
Sceye’s HAPS design, in the form of an improved balloon, can lift a variety of payloads for connectivity, Earth observation and scientific research. Its shell fabric can handle the extreme environment of the stratosphere and optimizes strength, helium retention and thermal management. High-performance batteries and solar panels close the power loop: enough energy storage to last until sunrise and efficient solar cells to collect energy during the day.
“We are thrilled to see years of research and development culminate in this milestone moment,” said David Kim, Chief Technology Officer at Sceye. “It’s the best application of materials science that pushes the boundaries of near space.”
Mission Chief of Operations Stephanie Luongo said, “This launch is the second of six in our test program this year designed to verify payload and automated flight while ensuring safe operations. We are excited to hear more about upcoming flight tests scheduled for late summer and fall.
In October 2021, Sceye was the first to connect a Massive MIMO antenna with 3D beamforming from the stratosphere directly to smartphones on the ground over a distance of 140 km – a world record in Open RAN. In March 2022, Sceye successfully validated its automated flight software which increases the reliability of its HAPS during its most critical phases of flight – launch and climb.
Sceye has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the New Mexico Department of Economic Development, and the New Mexico Department of Environment on a five-year study to monitor air quality in the state of New Mexico. Sceye’s HAPS will track methane emissions with sub-1m resolution, allowing them to determine pollution levels as well as identify individual emitters.
Sceye is a materials science company founded in 2014 to unlock possibilities in the stratosphere by uplifting and connecting all people and protecting our planet. The company has developed a new generation of stratospheric platforms to provide universal and equitable connectivity, improve climate change monitoring, natural resource management, forest fire monitoring, and better detect and contain disasters before they become uncontrollable.
Sceye continues the humanitarian work of founder and CEO Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. As owner and former CEO of public health companies Vestergaard and LifeStraw, he led materials science innovations that saved millions of lives. LifeStraw water filters have helped nearly eradicate Guinea worm disease, and PermaNet, mosquito nets made from innovative fibers that release microscopic doses of insecticide, have helped reduce malaria deaths by more than half in the world.