Mobile phone signal in stratosphere: strong!

A solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle built by Airbus has delivered broadband down to Earth

Big Zero Report 2022

Airbus has announced its solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) achieved the delivery of future wireless broadband connectivity from the stratosphere.

The findings are from a trial that took place in the US in August when the ‘Zephyr S’ aircraft undertook 18 days of flights in the stratosphere to test internet connectivity.

Airbus tested the ‘High Altitude Platform Station’ a system fitted in the UAV.

The project aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of providing communication services from the stratosphere to smartphones.

Stephane Ginoux, Head of North Asia region for Airbus and President of Airbus Japan K.K, said: “Billions of people across the world suffer from poor or no connectivity.

“These tests show us the viability of the stratosphere to bridge this divide and provide direct to device connectivity via Zephyr without the need for base stations or extra infrastructure.”

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