The High Altitude Platform (HAPS) test is one of the most innovative and ambitious projects in which the Aerospace Technology Research Group of the University of León is found together with the company Ecosat Airships.
HAPS (High Altitude Platforms) or Pseudo-satellites are unmanned aircraft (RPAS), generally airships or light aircraft, capable of operating in the stratosphere for very long periods of time, autonomously and powered by solar energy.
The conditions of the stratosphere make it possible for these platforms to offer possibilities similar to those of a satellite but with the difference that they can maintain a geostatic position at an altitude of 20 km. For this reason, the investigation of this type of Pseudo-satellites began much earlier by the Aerospace Engineering Group within the framework of a project of the European Space Agency (ESA), where the possible applications of these devices were analyzed, among which stand out the taking of images and persistent observation. In addition, the department opened a line of research around the development of propulsion systems for this type of space vehicle, based on the stratospheric conditions, the aviable devices and configurations.
All this trajectory has allowed current and future research of the Aerospace Engineering Area together with Ecosat Airships to focus on the realization of a 30 m prototype to analyze its physical performance and development of a later functional 80 m prototype with which it is intended to analyze the functional performance of the airship by testing it in the stratosphere. For this, the aerospace test plant of the Campus will be used.