Enpower Greentech next-gen stratospheric wireless comms-grade battery unveiled
Communicating via low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites may be the next big thing for devices such as iPhones and Android smartphones - however, SoftBank is betting on "a next-generation telecommunications system" built in the stratosphere instead.
As the name suggests, it is based on a network of High Altitude Platform Stations (or HAPS) that, as SoftBank asserts, has the edge on LEO technology in terms of latency, thanks to a location only ~20km above the Earth's surface as opposed to ~1,200km in the case of the satellites.
In addition, the HAPS infrastructure might benefit from improved stability and integrity, facing relatively mild "weather" and consistent wind-speeds in their location. Nevertheless, the Stations stand to encounter extreme vibration, temperatures as low as -60°C and atmospheric pressure of 0.05 ATM in their target location.
Accordingly, they need batteries that can withstand those conditions in order to work. SoftBank's HAPSMobile subsidiary has partnered with EGI, a company also involved in R&D for EV, photovoltaic and drone power solutions, has announced that its technology is equal to this problem.
The company's "innovative battery pack" has reportedly now passed testing as part of a recent HAPS demonstration, exhibiting the ability to keep working even should a Station crash or experience an "external short circuit" in the process.
Accordingly, EGI now pledges to keep developing and commercializing this stratosphere-worthy battery technology - then again, it also notes that it is working on the 'solar HAPS' as a next-gen breakthrough for the emerging telecomms solution.