Sceye, a material science company and manufacturer of High-Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS), has reached the stratosphere once again from the company’s New Mexico facility; this time using a new automated ascent software.
This launch tested a newly developed software capability that increases the reliability of the HAPS during its most critical phases of flight–the launch and ascent. It was the first of a flight test program focused on rapid prototyping of new technologies that include automation and flight safety enhancements.
There are six test flights planned for 2022, of which four are part of Sceye’s R&D test program. The program will determine optimized technologies for sustained flight in the stratosphere, scaling operations and lowering operational costs.
Last October, Sceye was the first to connect a Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) antenna with 3D beamforming from the stratosphere directly to smartphones on the ground over 140 km distance–a world record in Open RAN. The company also joined a consortium of New Mexico-based telecommunications companies and tribal entities to pilot delivery of universal broadband access to the Navajo Nation.
“The automation performed flawlessly and at no point did our control team need to take over and command the system manually,” said Stephanie Luongo, Sceye Chief of Mission Operations, “We let the system do the driving.”
“With every successful test flight we’re getting closer to providing broadband and earth observation from the stratosphere,” said Sceye CEO and Founder, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. “We’re very pleased with the results of this demonstration and will continue to advance flight testing throughout 2022.”
Sceye has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EDD, and New Mexico Environment Department on a five-year study to monitor air quality in the State of New Mexico. Sceye’s HAPS will track methane emissions with a sub 1 m resolution, allowing them to determine pollution levels as well as pinpoint individual emitters.
Sceye is a material science company founded in 2014 to unleash the 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 stewardship, forest fire monitoring and better detect and contain disasters before they spiral out of control.
Sceye continues the humanitarian work of founder & CEO Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. As owner and former CEO of the public health companies Vestergaard and LifeStraw, he led innovations in material science that have saved millions of lives. LifeStraw water filters have helped nearly eradicate Guinea worm disease, and PermaNet, bed nets made from innovative fibers that release microscopic doses of insecticide, have helped reduce global malaria deaths by more than half.