Communications from high altitude platforms a complementary or disruptive technology?

D. Grace
2000 IEE Seminar New Access Network Technologies   unpublished
With an ever increasing demand for capacity for future generation multimedia applications, service providers are looking to utilise the frequency allocations in the millimetre wave bands, e.g. those specified for Local Multi-Point Distribution Systems (LMDS). In these frequency bands signals are attenuated by rain and line of sight paths are required. A possible solution to these effects is to use High Altitude Platforms (HAPs). HAPs are either airships or planes that operate in the
more » ... , 17-22km above the ground. Such platforms have the potential capability to serve a large number of users, using considerably less communications infrastructure than required by a terrestrial network. They can be considered as either a complimentary or disruptive technology -complementary in the sense that they augment existing infrastructure, or disruptive in the sense that they replace existing infrastructure. This paper provides an overview of the HAP concept, discussing both advantages and critical issues for Broadband Fixed Wireless Access (B-FWA) delivery from HAPs with reference to conventional terrestrial/satellite technologies. Finally, a brief summary is provided of HAP projects underway at the University of York such as the European Framework V HeliNet Project, in which York is leading the broadband communications aspects.
doi:10.1049/ic:20000624 fatcat:un3i5bspbjh2piyhu26usw7gay