Blimp Wi-Fi plan to get big test

Blimp Wi-Fi plan to get big test


Sometimes, it’s not back to the future but forward to the past. A new idea from a former manager at NASA harkens back to the days of blimps and zeppelins.

The name of this invention is “Stratellite.” The engineer envisions a fleet of unmanned robotic blimps that will act as Wi-Fi portals on the high, hovering at 65,000 feet. The blimp looks familiar, but has a shark-like nose and packs a digital payload that proponents say is more aesthetically pleasing than the monstrous towers that dot the landscape now and will do so even more in the future. The blimps are designed to be aloft for 18 months or more before needing servicing.

This is not a new idea, of course, but it is a new era of Wi-Fi options. Stratellite owner Bob Jones, the ex-NASA scientist, thinks that the time is right… again.

A Stratellite prototype will be tested in a few weeks at Edwards Air Force Base in California. If investors like what they see, then the program might get off the ground in a big way.