[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mpKd0j5cFk&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

According to a Sanswire-TAO announcement issued yesterday, “the first flight of the full scale STS-111 is expected to take place at the end of August”. The test video above shows a smaller prototype.

 

Whether it’s the southern or northern border, the nation’s East and West coast or the mountainous region between Pakistan and Afghanistan, airships are an incredibly vital component of our country’s defense and intelligence,” says Captain David A. Christian (USA-Ret.), one of the United States’ most decorated soldiers. “Without them, the mission becomes more expensive and requires more assets.” Captain Christian is the Chairman of the Board of Sanswire Corp., a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, company developing and producing revolutionary new kinds of autonomous lighter-than-air UAVs.

“For many years, lighter-than-air airships have been used for certain Intelligence, Reconnaissance & Surveillance (ISR) missions, but these traditionally designed blimps have been plagued with problems,” Captain Christian explains. “Notably, the rigid structure of traditional, cigar-shaped blimps do not handle wind well and cause the vehicles to blow off course. They also take enormous amounts of resources–namely, infrastructure, large hangars, and ground crews–and these old design airships can only stay aloft for relatively short durations. Sanswire has a better solution. As the company name implies, these airships are ‘without wires.’ The airships are not tethered, they can carry a pay load to interface with surveillance ground equipment, cameras, infrared heat sensors, etc., for better, more sustained border security.”

stratellite

The nation’s military feels so strongly about airships that the U.S. Air Force is taking a dramatic step in placing 90 new Air Force Academy Commissioned Officers into a unique field of piloting unmanned air systems from the ground. General Norton Schwartz stated that this is the most dramatic change in the Air Force’s nearly 70-year history. Sanswire is well positioned to accommodate the military needs of reconnaissance and surveillance, which have been integral to every conflict, war, or police action since the beginning of civilization.

startellite1

The revolutionary flexible design of Sanswire airships — imagine a snake undulating through water — solves the stability problems associated with lighter-than-air blimps. This new design allows the unmanned airships to better cope with wind gusts, resulting in longer loitering times and a more stable platform for various payload mission sets. Sanswire’s ultimate goal is the creation and deployment of a fleet of low-, mid-, and high-altitude Stratellite UAVs designed to operate 24/7/365 with dramatically fewer assets than current systems. Sanswire’s airships promise to provide persistent, real-time ISR for extended durations at low, mid, and high altitudes for military, homeland defense, maritime, environmental study, and border security missions. The company’s main product platform, named Stratellite(, is a lighter-than-air airship designed for missions in the lower stratosphere up to 60,000 feet altitude. The company is committed to the spiral development of these segmented cell design airships, which hold the promise of becoming the standard for lighter-than-air UAVs. “We will be making aviation history with our new product design, but Sanswire’s ultimate commitment is to protecting our borders, protecting our children in our backyards, and protecting our soldiers on the battlefield,” concludes Captain Christian. “That is what independence is truly all about.”

Via satnews.com