What is HAPS - High Altitude Platform System?

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Editorial Team - everything RF

Nov 4, 2019

HAPS (High Altitude Platform System) are the radio stations operating in the stratosphere with an aim to provide wireless connectivity or perform remote sensing in isolated areas like mountains, coastal and desert areas. These qausi-stationary platforms (usually unmanned airplanes, airships or balloons) are stationed at an altitude of 20 to 50 kilometers above the Earth at a fixed, specified point relative to the Earth.

The frequency spectrum used by HAPS systems is 396 to 2969 MHz for the ground-to-HAPS platform links and from 324 to 1505 MHz for the HAPS-platform-to-ground links. The three world radio communication conferences (WRC-97, WRC-2000 and WRC-12) designated 47/48 GHz, 2 GHz, 27/31 GHz and 6 GHz frequency bands for HAPS applications.

According to a research report from Global Market Insights - High Altitude Platform (HAP) Market size was estimated at over USD 1 billion in 2016 and is predicted to grow at over 5% CAGR from 2017 to 2024. This increase in High Altitude Platform (HAP) market is due the demand for telecommunication services in rural and underserved locations, largely supported by government push.

Advantages of HAPS:

  • When compared to a terrestrial network, HAPSs provide wider coverage, less interference due to obstacles like buildings, ground elevations and have shorter time to deployment.
  • In comparison to satellites, HAPS have lower latency (transmission delay) and could be called back for maintenance or payload reconfiguration.