Sceye demonstrates broadband from the stratosphere
ROSWELL, New Mexico – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Sceye, a materials science company and manufacturer of High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS), today announced that it has successfully connected a 4G antenna with 3D beamforming from the stratosphere . Sceye’s unmanned stratospheric platform was launched at 8:55 a.m. MTD from its facility in New Mexico and landed safely at 1:05 p.m. MTD.
Today’s launch was part of Sceye’s test plan to demonstrate the feasibility of expanding broadband internet services to unserved and underserved populations by bridging the digital divide. Sceye performs these demonstrations for its customers, which include one of the world’s largest private telecommunications operators, the New Mexico State Department of Economic Development (EDD) and a consortium of telecommunications operators focused on the providing 100% connectivity across the Navajo Nation.
“We have taken another step forward in proving that high speed internet connectivity is possible from the stratosphere,” said CEO and founder of Sceye, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. “And with the connectivity achieved today, we are confident that we can use our height and long range to extend broadband coverage to underserved people. ”
The demonstration proved that the system and infrastructure are network ready and demonstrated that the HAPS can successfully connect to devices on the ground. This is the first time that an active array antenna with 3D beamforming technology has been connected directly from the stratosphere to a smartphone on the ground. In flight, the company conducted a series of tests to improve the data connection range of its systems. Standard LTE technology provides a range of 100 km. Sceye’s systems exceeded this standard and previously connected the active network 140 km from a helicopter. It is important to successfully repeat the long distance test from the stratosphere due to the unique low pressure and low temperature environment.
Sceye is also working in partnership with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ESD, and the New Mexico Department of the Environment on a five-year study to monitor the quality of air in the state of New Mexico. Sceye’s HAPS will monitor methane emissions with a resolution of 1 to 2 m, which will allow them to determine pollution levels as well as identify individual emitters.