Polymer battery deal for HAPS basestation in the sky

Polymer battery deal for HAPS basestation in the sky

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

HAPS is a stratospheric telecommunications platform that can provide mobile Internet connectivity, such as LTE and 5G, from the stratosphere to areas without Internet access. HAPS is developing the Sunglider unmanned aircraft that will act as a basestation in the sky, but needs significant power.

Battery technology is a key part of the design of these systems, with siliocn noades and lithium sulfur both being used for such systems. The APB polymer batteries are a key step in extending the time the basestation can operate by increasing the energy density.

Sunglider was tested in the air for the first time back in September in the US with the the world’s first successful delivery of a 4G LTE connection from the stratosphere.

The 700MHz LTE Band28 payload used in the test flight provided a continuous link for just 15 hours, enabling a video call between partners Loon and AeroVironment using 4G smartphones. The backhaul was enabled by a Band E millimetre wave link while using power to keep the drone in position in 58mph winds. Such basestations are intended to stay in teh air for weeks or months to provide cellular coverage. 

“Through this test we’ve obtained vital data that will accelerate the development of commercial services and improve the coverage and quality of our HAPS connectivity. We look forward to further developing the payload with Loon so we can revolutionize mobile connectivity and bridge the world’s digital divide,” said Junichi Miyakawa, Representative Director & CTO of SoftBank and President & CEO of HAPSMobile

Loon’s CEO Alastair Westgarth said, “This successful test represents yet another step to develop a new layer of connectivity based in the stratosphere. It is also an important step in our ongoing strategic partnership with HAPSMobile. By developing technologies to harness the opportunity of the stratosphere, we are making progress toward our shared goal of connecting unconnected and under-connected populations around the world.”

The APB technology was developed jointly by Hideaki Horie, the current CEO of APB, and Sanyo Chemical Industries and use a bipolar structure where the current flows through the cellular interfaces perpendicular to the electrode plane.

The electrode material of All Polymer Battery is wrapped with gel-like polymer containing an electrolytic solution. This provides a combination of high reliability, high energy density, and innovative manufacturing processes with fewer parts.

The All Polymer Battery has high flexibility in size and shape of the cells, which will help create thicker electrodes and larger cells and potentially allow the cells tobe incorporated into the wings of the Sunglider to provide more total power, as well as eliminating wiring parts necessary for high voltage, increasing the ratio of polymer in the components, and using next-generation electrode materials that contribute to high energy density.

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