September 20, 2017
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Hybrid airship
Thales brings innovation to Aero India 2017

Thales, during Aero India 2017, will highlight its relationship with India, its cooperation with the local industry, and capabilities that can optimally serve the modernisation needs of the Indian armed forces.

In addition to its display of wide range of its cutting-edge products, capabilities and latest developments, Thales will also display its innovations in the form of globally acclaimed product Stratobus.

Stratobus is an autonomous stratospheric airship that can be positioned at an altitude of 20 km over its theatre of operations and can perform a variety of missions. Stratobus, the 100-meter-long, five-ton blimp is described as a mix ‘between a drone and a satellite’. Thales Alenia Space is designing the solar powered ship for both civil and military applications, with a focus on surveillance and environmental management.

Its capabilities include surveillance of borders or high-value sites, on land or at sea, security, environmental monitoring and telecommunications, new broadband tactical software- defined radio SYNAPS and C4I systems, Spy’Ranger, a mini surveillance and reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) among others.

Using only solar energy and green technologies, Stratobus has a very small carbon footprint-much smaller than that of a small private plane.’

The solar panels are spread over the top of this high-tech autonomous blimp, which generate power for the electric propulsion system.

This system allows the ship to maintain a stable position in wind gusts up to 90 km/h, in which it uses two electric motors on either side and features ultra-light reversible fuel cell for energy storage.

Stratobus has an operation lifespan of five-years and only needs ground maintenance just a few days a year. Stratobus can hover 20 kilometres in the air, which allows for a view range of about 500 kilometres, over its theatre of operations and in the lower layer of the stratosphere, which offers sufficient density to provide lift for the balloon. It will also soar high into the stratosphere, reaching altitudes of 20,000 meters. The ship can hold up into a 40-foot container for easy storage and transportation.

Further Thales is also a member of the Rafale fighter team alongside Dassault Aviation, provides a number of state-of-the-art equipment and systems onboard the Rafale. These include the RBE2 AESA radar, the Spectra electronic warfare system, optronics, the communication navigation and identification system (CNI), the majority of the cockpit display systems, power generation systems and a logistics support component.

Other Thales’ display would include rocket systems, underwater systems (sonars), surveillance and fire control radars, surface warfare systems (missiles), among others.Thales is a global technology leader for the aerospace, transport, defence and security markets. Present in India since 1953, Thales today has over 300 employees working with its wholly-owned Indian subsidiary.