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April 15, 2005

Stratellite™ — 21st-century communication hub?


Sanswire Networks calls it "a revolution."

Well, they would, wouldn't they, since they created it?

A Stratellite™ (above and below) is an unmanned helium-filled airship (you call them blimps on your planet) with solar-powered engines.

It will hover in place 65,000 feet (about 13 miles) above the surface of the Earth.


Specs: 245 feet long, 145 feet wide, 87 feet high; volume = 1.3 million cubic feet; dual envelopes, both made of Kevlar; outer envelope covered with photovoltaic (solar) cells; payload capacity = 3,000 pounds; maximum altitude = 70,000 feet; held in position by 6 onboard GPS units connected to the ship's engines; line-of-sight capability = 300,000 square miles; wireless capability = a circle with 200-mile radius; controlled by earth stations on the ground.

The company's initial plan is to put one over every major U.S. metropolitan area.

What can the machine do?


It will enable high-speed two-way broadband communication for voice, video and Internet access to and from every square millimeter of the country.


The company unveiled its prototype this week.

Flight testing begins later this year.


Major Tom to Ground Control: "Beam me up."

April 15, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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