National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) has confirmed to that the High-altitude platform station (HAPS) that their working on is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology. CSIR-NAL has embarked on the project to demonstrate Proof-of-Concept for solar-powered, fixed-wing High Altitude Platforms that can operate at an altitude of 20 km, in the stratosphere, above the weather, 24/7, for six months at a time.

The NAL developed HAPS can carry out tasks from surveillance to telecom, earth observation, geoinformation, and climate research. CSIR-funded project is carrying out research, detailed design, engineering development, and manufacturing of two prototypes, a subscale (1:3) vehicle which would demonstrate Reynolds number equivalent flight at 3km altitude and a full-scale prototype which would demonstrate flight at 20km.

NAL’s also confirmed that HAPS is independent and unconnected with any efforts by HAL or any private enterprises. According to NAL, Estimated date of completion of the project will take place in mid 2025.

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