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Defence and engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has unveiled ambitious plans to develop its own High-Altitude Platform (HAP), a revolutionary technology capable of staying airborne for a staggering 12 months using solar power. 

This announcement marks a significant step forward in India’s quest for indigenous aerospace solutions and holds immense potential for various applications across diverse sectors.

Key Features and Capabilities:

  • Solar-powered endurance: L&T’s HAP boasts the ability to remain airborne for a full year, powered entirely by solar panels that recharge its onboard batteries. This eliminates the need for frequent refuelling, significantly reducing operational costs and environmental impact.
  • Advanced technology: L&T claims to have developed state-of-the-art hardware and software design, focusing on drastic power and weight reduction, custom ASIC design, and advanced network processing units. These advancements contribute to the platform’s remarkable endurance and efficiency.
  • Low-cost connectivity: L&T envisions its HAP as a game-changer for rural connectivity, providing low-cost mass internet access to remote areas with a 10Gbps base station. This could bridge the digital divide and empower communities with access to information, education, and essential services.
  • Diverse applications: Beyond connectivity, the HAP has a wide range of potential applications. These include:
    • Border surveillance and security: Monitoring borders for potential threats like piracy, smuggling, and illegal immigration.
    • Search and rescue operations: Providing crucial aerial support for locating and assisting individuals in distress.
    • Emergency communication: Enabling communication in disaster-affected areas where traditional infrastructure is damaged.
    • Environmental monitoring: Tracking pollution levels and environmental changes over vast areas.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is a Third company in India that is working on HAPS Platforms. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), in partnership with a Bengaluru-based startup, NewSpace Research, is developing HAPS Infinity as part of the HAL CATS (Combined Air Teaming System). National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) also is developing HAPS for Civilian usage. 

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