In a tiny country, with very limited resources at Quarkson we have just built the first SkyOrbiter (Extreme Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) capable of flying around the world and who knows in the near future spread internet access to two thirds of the world's population that currently are not connected.

The SkyOrbiter LA25 platform is designed to stay at low atmospheric orbit for prolonged periods. It can be used for a wide range of commercial and government applications over vast areas. It can also bring instant infrastructure to Least Developed Countries and disaster areas. This high-endurance aerial system is able to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it is estimated to be over 100 times less expensive than terrestrial communications network deployment. Unlike conventional satellites, when broken or worn out it can be brought down for maintenance or upgrade.

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  • I checked out the website from your link.

    For the LAxx series of aircraft. Is the 3500 meter operating altitude designed to be an "air-traffic-friendly" altitude for use in densely populated areas?

    The HAxx series , I noticed, will have a five-year endurance.  Wow that is amazing.

  • Moderator


  • Patrick, currently we are trying to urgently negotiate with the Portuguese Government to kick-start this project in Portugal. If not possible we will develop it in Europe or in the US, it all depends on political will. Last Friday we received the news by phone, that the protocol we are trying to establish is currently being reviewed by the chief of staff of the Portuguese Minister and Vice Prime-Minister.

    This protocol includes not only creating the conditions to the development and manufacture of all SkyOrbiter Platforms we are committed to build, but also logistic and political support to start our navigational challenges, which includes Maiden Flight, Across Portugal, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Atlantic Crossing, Artic Circle, Pole-to-Pole and Around the World challenges. You can check all challenges here http://challenges.quarkson.com/ Their main goal is to raise awareness for the need of universal Internet access as a birthright, and also to demonstrate the capabilities of the SkyOrbiter Constellation.

    We are trying to make the Internet available to every person on earth but we can’t do it by ourselves especially with very limited resources, therefore we need global help from national and international press, sponsors, private donors, governments and hopefully from the United Nations too.

    About your question of when the SkyOrbiter will fly it will be practical to do it within one month after having access to a military airstrip wide enough to accommodate the SkyOrbiters wingspan of approximately 25 meters. 

  • Hi Miguel, I just returned from a meeting with the (UN's) Emergency Telecommunications Cluster and your solution may be of interest to them. When and where will you be piloting SkyOrbiter? And would you be able to share approximate cost of full system, training required along with deployment times, etc?

  • Gary, we believe SkyOrbiters can do a better job than Google’s balloon-based Project Loon. SkyOrbiters can remain directly over a specific point of interest for extended periods of time while balloons have limited controls and will drift on the wind. SkyOrbiters can be easily serviced and returned to flight and that’s not the same for Google balloons. In terms of endurance SkyOrbiters in later version will be able to fly for months and even years while Google balloons will only be able to stay in flight for around 100 days.

  • Moderator

    Where does Google Loon fit in this space?

  • Chris, thanks for the positive feedback. Let me try to answer your questions.

    Atmospheric satellites or as we call it SkyOrbiters are able to perform certain tasks more economically and with more versatility than low earth orbit satellites, which are less well suited for border security, anti-piracy operations, disaster response, agricultural observation, and maritime traffic monitoring.

    About the terminology when we say Low Altitude Global Persistence Aerial Platform we have in mind Low Altitude Atmospheric Orbit and for High Altitude Global Persistence Aerial Platform we are thinking in High Altitude Atmospheric Orbit.

    SkyOrbiters are not satellites however since they can operate for extended periods of time (weeks, months and even years) they can be considered pseudo-satellites.

    About your question: Does that mean that the Zephyre does not work at low altitudes?

    The Zephyre is a solar-powered aircraft with a 22 meter wingspan and unlike the SkyOrbiter LA25 is not optimized to fly at low atmospheric orbits for long periods of times. During day and night its altitude varies approximately 10.000 meters to conserve energy.

    In relation to your question: What do you consider to be the difference between orbiting and flying?

    SkyOrbiters when in atmospheric orbit are flying and at the same time orbiting. Let me explain they are flying in a circle over a specific point of interest. So they are not orbiting the earth but orbiting/flying over a specific point of interest and that is why we named them SkyOrbiters.

    SkyOrbiters are also a superior system in relation to fixed terrestrial towers and satellite systems. Compared to terrestrial towers, SkyOrbiters require less communications infrastructure, they serve larger coverage areas from a single site, and cell planning is more straightforward as they provide line-of-sight links. Compared to satellite systems, SkyOrbiters provide an almost geo-stationary coverage area, low propagation delays, broadband capability using small-sized antennas along with terrestrial terminal equipment, and easy maintenance and upgrade.

    If you want to learn more about the advantages of SkyOrbiters check this link http://www.quarkson.com/la25-skylink/

  • Wonderful project.

    Regarding the terminology...

    I thought that LEO started at 99 miles.

    What do you consider to be the difference between orbiting and flying?

    And.. Does that mean that the Zephyre does not work at low altitudes?

  • Moderator

    Looking forward to the first flight

  • 3701828749?profile=original

    At Quarkson we consider the Zephyre a High Altitude Global Persistence Aerial Platform similar to the SkyOrbiter HA75 (75 meter wingspan) we are committed to build. Unlike the Zephyre the SkyOrbiter LA25 is not solar powered and is designed to stay at low atmospheric orbit for prolonged periods up to 2 weeks. We consider the SkyOrbiter LA25 a Low Altitude Global Persistence Aerial Platform.

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