ESA title


  • ACTIVITYFeasibility Study
  • STATUSCompleted
  • THEMATIC AREAAviation, Safety & Security, Environment, Wildlife and Natural Resources, Maritime and Aquatic

Objectives of the service

A feasibility study supporting an ESA programme on High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites (HAPS) in 2019. The project covers a roadmap for combining HAPS and satellites for ‘persistent surveillance’ monitoring scenarios, to prepare for the envisioned development of sustainable services in the short-to-medium term (operational services to be delivered by 2018-2023).

Users and their needs

Surveillance requirements for three proposed service use cases:

  • Forest Fire
  • Border Security
  • Maritime Surveillance

Are covered in this study, with a particular focus on four end users of the envisaged services:

  • The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA),
  • Frontex,
  • EU Satellite Centre (SatCen),
  • Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio en Almería

This study looks into scenarios that would be suitable for any country but primarily at European users. 

Service/ system concept

HAPS can be used to compliment satellite imagery, a HAPS aircraft can be deployed for a constant monitoring purpose equipped with payloads of a variety of capabilities including higher resolutions than satellite imagery or specialist payloads such as infra-red. With this functionality in mind, the study collaborates with end users to define the best system definition for their uses; two of these are illustrated below.

Space Added Value

The study covers a variety of use case scenarios and analyses a variety of HAPS and payload technologies. Each use case and/or end user will have differing needs and therefore a range of technologies are relevant to be included in building the feasibility study for the HAPS services. 

Current Status

The study has now concluded and has produces a publically available report detailing a summary of its findings.  

Status Date

Updated: 17 January 2020