A HALE air vehicle that can hover over a geographical area has tremendous potential for commercial communications and broadcast. The vehicle can be used to replace cell phone towers in urban and rural areas at competitive costs. A long life UAV provides a low cost satellite radio option for smaller markets. In addition, the UAV can be used for TV broadcasting and internet communications. A recent application that is being explored is the use of air vehicles to coordinate power flow and grid status of the United States power utility network. Solar powered UAVs can be put in place expeditiously to provide continuous communications during national emergencies. Solar Deck 24-7 is a transformational technology from the standpoint that it can replace a multitude of fuel burning vehicles that now perform surveillance and reconnaissance for military and civil purposes, news and traffic monitoring, scientific research, and environmental data collection.
This vehicle can directly support NASA's Earth Science Mission's strategic goal of meeting the challenges of climate and environmental change. The vehicle can play a key and cost effective role in the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System by providing continuous monitoring and data continuity for high priority observations as identified by the Decadal Survey. The vehicle provides a platform to support the Earth Sciences Research program in the major focus areas of Atmospheric Composition, Weather, Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Water and Energy Cycle, Climate Variability and Change, and Earth Surface and Interior. It specifically is well suited for regional coastal research. The vehicle supports the goals of the Airborne and Suborbital Science Program. In that light, this vehicle can perform many of the tasks now performed by fuel burning vehicles, thus supporting the national objective of reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and reducing the effects of global warming.