Raven provides cellular connectivity from the stratosphere through the Thunderhead balloon system

SIOUX FALLS, SD–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Raven Industries today announced that Aerostar International, Inc. (Raven Aerostar) and Abside Networks have successfully demonstrated 4G LTE connectivity from the stratosphere in a series of test flights. Raven Aerostar Thunderhead Balloon System provided connectivity via Abside’s HAPS-RAN (High Altitude Platform Station – Radio Access Network) product line.

“With a functioning cellular base station, our balloon systems provide everyday people with life-saving communications in times of crisis, when they need it most,” said Russ VanDerWerff, director of engineering at Raven Aerostar. “Raven Aerostar can recreate critical communication links in the aftermath of storms, floods, wildfires and other natural disasters that cause devastating disruptions to power and infrastructure.”

Thunderhead balloons navigate the stratosphere by taking advantage of various winds and changing altitude as needed. They can linger on a designated area for weeks or months using solar power. Combined with Abside’s communications technology, Thunderhead Balloon Systems provides a low-cost, long-lasting capability that can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world.

The team demonstrated stable cellular connections to and from unmodified cellular devices from Google, Samsung, and others to deliver up to 23 Mbps downlink and 6 Mbps uplink over 4G LTE, fast enough to support supports Internet access, file transfer and video conferencing services.

“Abside’s 4G and 5G product line dedicated to High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS) has already served commercial 4G users worldwide, in a previous partnership with Loon, LLC (formerly known as Project Loon), a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc,” said Laurent Perraud, CEO of Abside “We are excited to continue this legacy in new ways.”

About Raven Industries, Inc.

Raven Industries provides innovative, high-value products and systems that solve big challenges around the world. Raven is a leader in precision agriculture, high-performance specialty films, and aerospace and defense solutions, and the company’s groundbreaking work in autonomous systems opens up new possibilities in areas such as agriculture, national defense and scientific research. Since 1956, Raven has designed, produced and delivered exceptional solutions, earning the company a reputation for innovation, product quality and unparalleled service. Raven is a subsidiary of CNH Industrial (NYSE: CNHI / MI: CNHI), a global capital goods company specializing in agricultural and construction equipment and services. For more information, visit https://ravenind.com/.

About Raven Aerostar

Raven Aerostar consists of wholly-owned subsidiaries Aerostar International, Inc. and Aerostar Technical Solutions, Inc. Dedicated to connecting, protecting and saving lives through its work as a supplier to aerospace and defense, major offerings Raven Aerostar’s products include stratospheric platforms, radar and sensor perception systems, technical services, tethered aerostats and protective clothing. From engineering services to mission planning and support, research and design, and advanced technical product development, Raven Aerostar offers turnkey solutions tailored to a multitude of successful operations. To visit https://ravenaerostar.com for more information.

About Apside Networks

Founded in September 2012, Abside Networks is a global leader in high performance 5G RAN networks. Abside started with specialized designs of custom RF front ends for 4G LTE base stations for customers deploying commercial networks and Abside has developed and delivered several generations of LTE communication systems, both terrestrial and stratospheric. Abside Networks is based in Concord, MA, USA. Visit Apside online at www.abside-networks.com.