Forced to publish 2016 ESNC contest entry: Stratos Shuttle – looking for sponsors or investors

Hi All,

Being very experienced avionics designer with significant operational drone experience including stratospheric airdrop, I have tried to contact Polish space3ac fund asking for funding. I was blocked on facebook march 2016 after asking the first question by coordinator who knew me as being whistleblower.

You can find entire entry under the link describing the idea:


I have revised 20-years old patent issues, found solutions and made a proposal for European Satellite Navigation Contest knowing than in 2015 their award-winning project was CAD sketch of giant quadcopter project that should be able to drop safety equipment at sea (that never left drawing stage).

ESNC contest organizers have failed to review the proposal and never contacted me, while blocking my email address on their side:

-Two hours before submission deadline (which I have met) I have received a notification “with so many new registrations in the last couple of days and the UEFA Euro still running, we decided to give you 10 days of added time to submit, complete, or improve your idea #160828”. Basically 3-month submission process for space contest was extended because of football match that evening which raises the suspicion that specific participants were receiving special attention.

-Organiser’s answer to suggestion this is against contest regulations, thay have pointed a clause where thay can reserve the right to alter any clause at any time. Since one of the clauses is non-disclosure of submissions and honest evaluation, I must assume those premises are equally volatile.

-The only feedback I was being asked for was using automated questionnaires without follow-up

-Nobody has contacted me regarding neither patent issues nor any other doubts that might arise during evaluation phase, legal aspects risks were somehow evaluated at 50-60% despite the fact I have been examining scope and validity of related patents during past 4 years. Obviously I didn’t uploaded full patent analysis for free without making sure I am dealing with professionals.

-Evaluation (only 2 diagrams with percentage points were presented contains ridiculous notes, like technological feasibility rated at 50%, despite the fact that early solutions with limited altitude reaching stable flight at 12km existed (discontinued because lack of funding at trial phase, New Zealand 2010) and there are documented amateur trials at 20km altitude (Canada, 2001) plus recent DLR research (2015 albeit using very heavy and completely impractical airframe)

-Market potential has been evaluated at 40-60% despite the idea is replacing at least 80% uses of balloon-dropped meteo probes worldwide. Nobody asked for a businessplan, there was no option to upload a businessplan when a detailed multi-variant businessplan was well prepared based on recent prices, use cases, investor capital options and various countries.

-GNSS Relevance was estimated at 60-63% even if GNSS navigation is strictly necessary component of said invention; current solutions are using satellite navigation only for wind speed reporting during ascent phase. Proposed invention is updating meteo profile both relative to moving air mass (ascent) as well as relative to any fixed ground position (descent).

-Polish region organizers stated on ESNC competition page that their own secured investor’s capital is 10 times higher than the capital they have precisely enumerated on their Polish website as invested in Polish startups which puts in doubts existence of control over money flow, particularly that one of organizing committee submission persons is an owner of a company sponsored directly by venture capital he is representing for ESNC submissions

-Polish region organizers have a history of promoting funding of exotic constructions of null scientific value, like Mars Greenhouse near Kraków – a primitive building without scientific background being made on budget allowing only most basic construction of the structure

-My submission as independent review researcher for future editions was rejected strictly because I have asked for my proposal to be analyzed by international committee, and not by regional organizers. ESNC representative has stated explicitly that if I am not going well along with local contact person, I am unfit. At this point ESNC has no experts able to evaluate aerial autonomous vehicles in Poland because of lack of professional experience.

-After the answer above, I have asked regular contact person (German nationality) for a contact with his supervisor in order to explain the situation, just to witness my email put into spam list

Following all the above, I publicly state that ESNC contest is a scam led by closed circles that are trying to trick people into submitting ideas, while keeping applicant’s personalities hidden. I can defend it in front of any court. In order to prevent the idea of being forgotten or stolen, I am publishing it in its entirety. I claim that ESNC contest in its current form is damaging to ESA and GALILEO public perception, making selection of proposals on strictly non-scientific background. Organizers have admitted they have purposely extended submission deadline for more than a week in order to allow unnamed participants to complete their submissions.

On this occasion I would like to congratulate Polish region winners for ESNC2016 AEROBITS that are aiming at providing ADS-B UAV broadcasting functionality that is already available for free here: .  This is an interesting contrast to my submission that is based on several years of prior research verified during at least 2000 flights.

I discourage everybody from submitting to ESNC contest until said grave problems are addressed.

I am forced to make this idea public in order to parts of it being claimed by CanSat competition organizers or other patent claims that might appear.

I am among very few persons capable an willing to make this system operational. 


Views: 1354

Comment by Ben on November 30, 2016 at 3:21pm

Can you summarize the issue in a few sentences, maybe also explain what's the ESNC contest ? If I understand correctly it's something about innovative ideas and your proposal was rejected for some reason, and you fear that they patent it in your place.

So you've published it to prevent them to patent it ?

If the idea is to send a plane in stratosphere and then let it glide back with an autopilot maybe I'm wrong but it seems to me that it was already done and even commercialized a few years ago ? You're maybe right that it's not patented but I'm pretty sure that a company has already done it, I'll try to find the url.

Comment by Ben on November 30, 2016 at 3:24pm
Comment by Ben Cartwright on November 30, 2016 at 3:26pm

It doesn't seem like too many people have done it autonomously, nor does it seem like it's been especially commercialised - however I would argue the demand is there for it to be done.  I'm working on something very similar to OP -

Comment by Ben Cartwright on November 30, 2016 at 3:30pm

Despite OP submitting his application in June '16, he's not even remotely close to being the first to work on a similar idea

Comment by MarcS on December 1, 2016 at 1:46am

Hi  Krzysztof, hi Ben,

the idea is not really new, the oldest (2005) product I know is the GPS-Boomerang:

Guess why only few people have heard about it? There is not a real market because :

1. balloon probes are not designed to be reusable (would mean to design and introduce a new one in an established market... think WMO acceptance) and it would cost time to refurbish for every flight..

2. as soon as you control the descent, you are considered a high altitude BVLOS flying UAV, which there is basically no chance to get permission for. It is strange since the balloon probes fall down everywhere, but thats the facts

Not that I´m against stratospheric flying, I actually love it (Did that Project..):

Comment by Andy on December 1, 2016 at 2:02am

This type of glider or aircraft is already used on different measuring campaigns.

And it is used because the instruments used on the Glider are very expensive and they need to be berought back especailly in ares where there a re a lot of mountains or forest where the access to the landing site is very difficult: Here is a paper over one currently used Glider for High Altitude measuremnts.


Comment by Andy on December 1, 2016 at 2:04am

Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on December 1, 2016 at 12:06pm

I am NOT claiming to be the first. I am claiming that I did did the research that others didn't, naively thinking they could strap any commercial or ad-hoc autopilot to a drone. If you want papers, I can bring you toilet papers from 1996 doing research up to a few km altitude on that subject. And then I can tell you about new zealand solution mae by one guy that was almost close, except miscalculated business plan and null research funding. About this paper, this is just rubbish when you look inside a drone. Those guys strapped several components around for a heavy worthless sytem. Compare to my minimal AUW platform in my application. The shape is not stratospheric, but I wont publish what I have sent up there. ESNC contest is not about posting NEW ideas. It is positng about feasible ideas. The iddea is NOT feasible without complte control system weighting more than around 100g. Concernign GPSboomerang it was not advanced anough to account fro pressure change well enough to fly controllably above 12km altitude, and this is major difference here that makes all pixhawk solutions just a chilplay and ad-hpc mashup.

Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on December 1, 2016 at 12:11pm

ARTECH is rubbish for the task, anything above 100USD is rubbish for the task. HABLEG is rubbish for this task for the same reason Besides HABLEG flight was NOT autonomous, it was tuned mid-air. We are taking about business application and how to cut down price of every single chip knowing which one to cut dow, not about some amateur's mash-up.

Comment by Ben Cartwright on December 1, 2016 at 12:41pm

I'm concerned to managed to work out how much our airframe costs (you're miles off). Luckily our flight computer is around 60g, so to me it sounds like we're on the money :)


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