You dont have javascript enabled! Please enable it!


India’s National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL) is soaring towards the next stage of its high-altitude platform (HAP) development. Building on the success of a recent sub-scale test flight, CSIR-NAL is set to construct a full-scale prototype equipped with cutting-edge features.

The May 7th test flight of a sub-scale vehicle proved to be a valuable learning experience. The flight saw the vehicle reach an altitude of 3,000 feet while carrying a synthetic aperture radar payload developed by the Indian start-up Galaxeye Space. Following the payload drop, the vehicle climbed even higher, reaching an impressive 25,000 feet.

The upcoming full-scale version will be a significant leap forward compared to its sub-scale predecessor. The most notable differences will be in size and propulsion systems. The full-scale HAP will boast a wingspan of 35 meters, comparable to that of a commercial Airbus A320 aircraft.

Despite its impressive size, the full-scale platform will remain lightweight, weighing approximately 150 kg. This allows for efficient operation at high altitudes. The full-scale HAP will be able to carry payloads of up to 15 kg, making it suitable for various applications.

CSIR-NAL is taking an innovative approach to the full-scale vehicle’s power source. Instead of conventional silicon solar cells, they will be utilizing gallium arsenide solar cells produced by the US company MicroLink. These advanced solar cells boast a 30% solar-to-electricity conversion rate, a significant improvement over the 20% efficiency limit of traditional silicon cells.

The full-scale HAP will also incorporate autopilot capabilities. While the hardware for this system will be procured externally, CSIR-NAL plans to develop the software in-house. This demonstrates India’s commitment to not only acquiring but also mastering advanced aerospace technologies.

Full-scale HAP will be rolled out likely by the end of 2025 if all goes as planned for the NAL.

NOTE : Article cannot be reproduced without written permission of in any form even for YouTube Videos to avoid Copy right strikes. Websites doing illegal reproductions will get DMCA and Legal Notices.