HAPSMobile will use Sierra County New Mexico’s Spaceport America as a site for test operations and development of a high altitude endurance communications platform.
HAPSMobile, a joint venture between aircraft development company AeroVironment and Japan’s SoftBank, is developing an unmanned solar-powered High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) drone, the Hawk30.
The Hawk30, with a wingspan measuring 260 feet, is designed to circle in the stratosphere for extended periods of time at an altitude of around 65,000 feet while carrying a telecommunications payload.
The Hawk30 made its first flight last September.
The work at Spaceport America will help HAPSMobile and AeroVironment obtain government certification for the unmanned aircraft system.