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In a move that could revolutionize aerial surveillance and communication in India, Abu Dhabi’s Mira Aerospace and Indian startup VEDA Aeronautics have joined forces to develop a strong foothold in the High-Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) market.

HAPS are solar-powered drones designed to operate for extended periods in the stratosphere, offering a unique combination of benefits over traditional satellites and drones. They can provide persistent coverage over a large area without the complexity and cost of launching a satellite while offering greater endurance than conventional drones.

This strategic agreement leverages the expertise of both companies. Mira Aerospace will bring its established HAPS technology to the table, while VEDA Aeronautics will contribute its local research and development capabilities. Together, they aim to create a HAPS platform specifically tailored for the Indian airspace.

The partnership isn’t starting from scratch. The two companies have already collaborated on a successful test flight of a HAPS technology demonstrator in the Indian stratosphere approximately a year ago, marking a significant milestone.

Dipesh Gupta, Managing Director of VEDA Aeronautics, sees immense potential for HAPS technology in India, particularly aligning with the Indian Air Force’s Make in India program. He estimates the initial market size to be around 20-30 HAPS units, each capable of carrying payloads of 20-30 kilograms. Furthermore, factoring in the needs of the Navy and Coast Guard, the demand could rise to 40-70 HAPS within the next few years.

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