HAPS4ESA - Services enabled by High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) complemented by satellites

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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 project is currently a third of its way through having delivered the first full deliverable of a user requirement analysis document. This will now be used to define system and services for the user scenarios and a viability study as the next steps.

Project Managers

Contractor Project Manager

Michael Downey
Compass House,
60 Priestley Road,
United Kingdom
+44 (0)148 344 7088

ESA Project Manager

Piera di Vito
Keplerlaan 1
2200 AG Noordwijk

Status Date

Updated: 15 February 2019 - Created: 15 February 2019