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Product Code: Broadband communications via High Altitude
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ABSTRACT

        This report deals with the communication aspects of High Altitude Platforms (HAPs), namely airships or aircraft positioned in the stratosphere. HAPs can be considered as a novel solution for providing telecommunications services. We start with an introduction to HAPs, i.e. some historical information, followed by information about suitable airships and aircraft, frequency bands allocated to HAPs, possible architectures, and some points on the system structure. The increasing demand for broadband mobile communications has led to the successful and rapid deployment of both terrestrial and satellite wireless networks. It is based on quasi-stationary aerial platforms operating in the stratosphere, known as High Altitude Platforms (HAPs) or Stratospheric Platforms (SPFs). HAPs would be a means of delivering broadband communications to locations where the provision of optical cable and satellite services is uneconomical and existing infrastructure has been temporarily disrupted or destroyed. HAPs seem to represent a dream come true for communications engineers working on the "ideal wireless system." While possessing many of the advantages of terrestrial and satellite systems and having the potential to provide broadband communications in a cost effective way, HAPs do not intend to replace existing technologies, but rather complement them. Moreover, HAPs have the potential to deliver a wide spectrum of services and applications. Except for broadband services, they have the potential to deliver 3G-based communications, remote sensing, and navigation applications, while they are also particularly suited to disaster relief applications. It is envisaged that HAP will be capable of providing a compelling range of these services and applications, presenting a profitable case in this way.


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