World View’s Stratollite navigable balloon recently achieved its first day–night cycle flight. The Tucson, Ariz.-based aerospace company reported that the Stratollite’s solar panels generated, stored and distributed full system power needed for flight throughout the night.
Stratollites capitalize on rapid deployability and low-impact flight of balloons, then add solar power and the ability for station-keeping flight. The aim is to make Stratollites useful over specific areas of interest for days, weeks and eventually months.
The World View balloons have a 100-kilogram payload capacity and can carry a number of instruments on their decks. These attributes make Stratollites useful in disaster recovery and first response, communications, weather forecasting and surveillance, according to the company.