High Altitude Aeronautical Platform Stations (HAAPS) is a technology which facilitates wireless narrowband and broadband telecommunication services as well as broadcasting services with the help of different kind of platforms such as airships or aircrafts.
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High altitude aeronautical platform stations can cover a service area of approximately 1000 km diameter. This coverage of service area depends on minimum elevation angle accepted from the user's location.
High altitude aeronautical platform stations consist of an airborne platform with a telecommunications payload, and associated ground station telecommunications equipment.
One of the most important feature of high altitude aeronautical platform stations is that it is not limited to a single service.
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High altitude aeronautical platform station offers a number of advantages over satellite communications and terrestrial radio networks which leads to its increasing demand. Benefits such as low cost, fast deployment, easy relocation, large coverage area and less environmental impact are some of the factors which drive the demand of high altitude aeronautical platform stations.
However, designing an aircraft to operate in the stratosphere is a major technological challenge as it faces problems related to lightweight structure, energy generation and storage, thermal management, operation at low altitude and reliability.
Some of the high altitude aeronautical platform station projects include Sky station which is an airship system built by US based company Sky Station International. StartSat is also an airship system built by UK based company, Advanced Technology Group; and Stratospheric Platform System planned by the Wireless Innovation Systems Group of the Yokosuka Radio Communications Research Centre in Japan.
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