Stratospheric Uses for Solar

[] Power generation from the sun usually takes place on the ground or out of the atmosphere, but Sanswire Networks has found a use for photovoltaics (PV) somewhere in-between. Sanswire has created a high-altitude communications system that is made up of a series of PV powered Stratellites, which are high-altitude, unmanned airships that allow for wireless services in remote regions of the world. The outer layer of the units are covered with thin-film PV, according to the company. Sanswire has signed its first contract with Dynamic International Networks of Florida to establish a network in various South American countries, with Lima, Peru as its first customer. A Stratellite is similar to a satellite, but is stationed in the stratosphere rather than in orbit. At an altitude of 13 miles, each unit will have clear line-of-sight to an entire major metropolitan area. The network should allow subscribers to easily communicate in both directions using readily available wireless devices. Proposed telecommunications uses include wireless broadband, cellular, 3G/4G mobile, MMDS, paging, fixed wireless telephony, HDTV and others.