World View has successfully executed a record-setting 16-day Stratollite™ mission, a key step toward the productization of persistent and navigational stratospheric flight for remote sensing and communications applications.
Prior to the completion of this mission, the longest duration Stratollite flight stood at just five days. This mission moves World View one step closer to scaled commercial operations and productization of the Stratollite and the unique data sets it provides. The Stratollite enables persistent, near-real time, very-high resolution remote sensing over large specified areas of interest for commercial and government customers around the world.
Key mission information:
• More than 8 days of cumulative station-keeping achieved (within a 120km diameter area)
• Multiple demonstrations of 24+ hours straight of station-keeping within a 100km diameter area
• One demonstration of 55 hours of continuous station-keeping within a 100km diameter area
• One demonstration of 6.5 hours of continuous station-keeping within a 9km diameter area
• Over 3,000 miles traveled during the mission, covering Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Oregon
• Complete navigational control during the mission from remote Mission Control in Tucson, Arizona
• Precision descent system achieved safe and controlled landing within 400 feet of
World View’s Stratollite is a long-endurance stratospheric flight vehicle capable of station-keeping over areas of interest for remote sensing and communications. World View’s proprietary altitude-control technology allows it to harness stratospheric winds to steer the Stratollite to and from desired locations and loiter above them for long durations.
Stratollites can carry a wide variety of commercial payloads (sensors, telescopes, communications arrays, etc.), launch rapidly on demand and safely return payloads back to Earth after mission completion. Among its wide variety of uses, the Stratollite will help researchers greatly advance knowledge of planet Earth, improve our ability to identify and track severe weather, and assist first responders during natural disasters.
On Monday, June 3rd, 2019, following the successful 16-day mission, World View personnel identified and navigated the system above a safe landing zone in a remote part of Nevada. The team then concluded the mission and executed a safe and controlled descent and landing, followed by recovery of all flight components, many of which will be prepared for refurbishment and re-use in subsequent missions.
Ryan Hartman, World View President and CEO, said this is a great accomplishment for the company's team and a key step on the path towards productizing the Stratollite and the unique data sets it will provide for customers. Affordable, real-time, persistent intelligence from a high-altitude platform does not exist today. The company is continually inspired by the positive impact such a capability could have on the world, and today marks a big step towards that vision.