Update on World View Progress

World View Stratollite module. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference is being held in Colorado through Wednesday. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but the following folks are there tweeting away:

  • Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust
  • Rand Simberg‏ @Rand_Simberg
  • Colorado Space News‏ @CO_Space_News

Below is an update on the progress of World View based on their tweets.

Jane Poynter
CEO
World View

  • 2017 has been a seminal year for World View in which the company has flown many times
  • Helium-filled balloons can carry Stratollite platforms with 50-kg payloads to altitudes of 16-30 km
  • Stratollites can provide payloads with 250 watts of power
  • Plan to double mass and power capacity within the next year
  • Balloons can remain stationary over specific areas and maneuvered to a location of the client’s choosing
  • Expect to increase flight rate to 1 or 2 per month quite quickly
  • balloons can only descend to ground at night, but plan to change that in the future
  • The stratosphere (aka, “ignorosphere”) is a good destination destination for science investigation
  • Stratollites can be used to test experiments and technology for Mars because the atmospheric pressure at the altitudes they reach are similar to that on the Red Planet
  • “very close” to substituting hydrogen for helium in balloons
  • Spaceport Tucson is focused on stratospheric flights
  • Other balloon operators are welcome at Spaceport Tucson where World View operates

Andrew Antonio
Director of Marketing
World View

  • Can provide imaging coverage for longer periods of time and at lower costs than UAVs
  • Goal is to provide best of satellites and UAVs using balloons
  • Using off-the-shelf cameras got a resolution of about 50 cm
  • Believes company can reduce imaging system to 10- to 15-cm resolution next year and communications rate to 100- to 500 Mbps
  • Ultimate goal is have constellations floating over regions providing continuous imaging