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Stratospheric Persistent UAS: Global Observer

AV is developing the Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to be the first to provide robust, cost-effective and persistent communications and surveillance over any location on the globe, establishing an entirely new category of UAS. Global Observer’s unique combination of both extreme flight duration and stratospheric operating altitude is designed to deliver advantages in cost, capacity, coverage, flexibility, and reliability that make it a compelling complement to existing satellite, aerial and terrestrial assets.

Missions Persistent Communications & Remote Sensing
Stratospheric Global Persistence (all latitudes)
Up to 1 week
Up to 400 lbs. for GO-1
Operating Altitude
65,000 feet
Propulsion System
Liquid hydrogen powered

Global Observer is designed to address an urgent national security need for a persistent stratospheric platform and provides a means to satisfy numerous high value civil and commercial applications. Mission applications include communications relay & remote sensing payloads for military or commercial customers, as follows:

  • Persistent, global, stratospheric loitering capability for defense and homeland security missions.
  • Low-cost, rapidly deployable telecommunications infrastructure and GPS augmentation.
  • Hurricane/storm tracking, weather monitoring, wildfire detection, and sustained support for relief operations.
  • Aerial imaging/mapping for commercial and environmental monitoring, agriculture crop management and harvesting optimization.

Multiple communications and remote sensing applications have already been demonstrated from this operating position, including high definition broadcast (HDTV) video, and third generation (3G) mobile voice, video and data using an off-the-shelf mobile handset.

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