These aren’t just eyes in the sky. From monitoring pollution to providing cell signals, high-altitude pseudo satellites (HAPS) have captured the imagination of researchers and companies around the world, OZY reports. Designed to watch over Earth like satellites but with the flexibility of drones, HAPS use the unique advantages of the upper layer of atmosphere below outer space. Far from an engineering gimmick, they offer a new range of applications currently not being adequately filled by satellites or airplanes.
Are HAPS here to stay? With technical improvements like lighter, longer-lasting batteries, the global market is expected to reach $22 billion by 2022.