AeroVironment-SoftBank JV to Focus on High-Altitude, Long-Endurance UAS Development

Unmanned aircraft systems maker AeroVironment and Japan-based telecommunications company SoftBank have formed a joint venture to build a high-altitude, long-endurance UAS for commercial operations.

HAPSMobile is 95 percent owned by SoftBank and 5 percent owned by AeroVironment, the latter company said Wednesday.

AeroVironment will contribute $5 million in capital to secure 5 percent ownership of the joint venture, with the option to increase its stake in HAPSMobile to up to 19 percent.

HAPSMobile looks to invest $65 million in the development of a solar-powered HALE UAS, an unmanned aircraft category that is also called high-altitude pseudo-satellites or HAPS.

AeroVironment CEO Wahid Nawabi said that the HALE UAS will work to deliver remote sensing and last mile internet of things connectivity to organizations.

HAPSMobile will own the UAS intellectual property and gain exclusive rights for commercial applications worldwide and non-commercial applications in Japan, while AeroVironment will possess exclusive rights to intellectual property for non-commercial uses, except in Japan.

You may also be interested in...

SpaceX

Air Force Taps SpaceX to Investigate High-Capacity Manufacturing Tech for Thermal Protection Systems

Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded an $8.5 million contract to SpaceX to enhance manufacturing technologies used to produce hypersonic-capable thermal protection systems, Space News reported Monday.

AlertTrace by VOS Systems

USAF Procures Contact Tracing Tech From VOS Systems for COVID-19 Response Efforts

VOS Systems received a contract of an undisclosed sum from the U.S. Air Force to deliver, field and sustain an electronic COVID-19 contact tracing tool.

5G technology

VA Hospital Adopts T-Mobile 5G Platform; David Bezzant Quoted

T-Mobile has helped the Department of Veterans Affairs implement 5G technology at a hospital in Miami to support care delivery and telehealth services through instant mobile connectivity.