Bayanat to launch the UAE’s first ‘HAPS’ stratospheric flight

Flight time is unlimited as powered by renewable and carbon negative energy; Geospatial and AI technologies can play key role in addressing environment challenges



The aircraft, which will be launched from Abu Dhabi in the coming weeks, will fly at an altitude of 14.5kms whilst carrying out a series of environmental monitoring and research tests. — Supplied photo
The aircraft, which will be launched from Abu Dhabi in the coming weeks, will fly at an altitude of 14.5kms whilst carrying out a series of environmental monitoring and research tests. — Supplied photo
by

Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2021, 6:53 PM

Bayanat for Mapping and Surveying Services (Bayanat) on Tuesday announced its plans to launch a maiden flight of its high altitude psuedo satellite (HAPS), a remotely piloted and solar powered aircraft, at the Dubai Airshow.

The fast growing geospatial and data analytics/AI company headquartered in the UAE, said the initial test flight will demonstrate HAPS’ diverse operational uses, and showcase its latest technology, which is powered by renewable and carbon negative energy.

“The flight, which is scheduled in the coming weeks, will demonstrate the UAE innovation enabling a new class of environmentally-friendly satellites to fly at high altitudes for extended periods of time, whilst transmitting premium geospatial data in real time from the stratosphere,” the company said in a statement to Khaleej Times.

The aircraft, which will be launched from Abu Dhabi in the coming weeks, will fly at an altitude of 14.5kms whilst carrying out a series of environmental monitoring and research tests. This flight will mark the first time such a satellite has flown in the UAE and will represent one of just a few completed HAPS launches worldwide.

Hasan Al Hosani, CEO of Bayanat said the pending launch of HAPS in Abu Dhabi is a significant milestone for Bayanat, but also for the UAE.

“We continue to innovate with new, advanced, and cutting-edge technologies. By successfully launching HAPS, Bayanat will add stratospheric flight, powered by clean energy, to the list of our world-leading geospatial AI capabilities,” he said.

HAPS are designed for the long-term monitoring of the Earth’s surface and are engineered to remain airborne optimising atmospheric lift, and are powered by solar panels, making them carbon negative and capable of unlimited flight times with a cruising speed of 30km per hour.

The key benefits of HAPS over satellites are costs. A Geostationary orbit satellite to build and launch costs approximately $200M and $2B for a low earth orbit satellite. In addition, HAPS only need one platform and one ground station to initiate operations, whereby satellites require an entire system to be built in-order to operate.

“Our combined technologies have many positive applications across the environmental space. We have the expertise to provide real time and intelligence led insights on pollution, natural disaster protection, food yield forecasting, freshwater and wildlife protection through to eco-friendly City planning and sustainable building to name but a few. These solutions have huge potential to support developing nations in addressing their environmental challenges. I look forward to providing further updates on HAPS in due course,” Al Hosani said while addressing a media briefing at the airshow.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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