HAPS Alliance Holds First In-person Only Member Meeting to Accelerate its Mission of Connecting the Unconnected

HAPS Alliance Holds First In-person Only Member Meeting to Accelerate its Mission of Connecting the Unconnected

SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434), which is developing a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business to offer telecommunication services from the stratosphere, is also a founding and executive member of the HAPS Alliance, an industry association that counts telecommunications, technology, aviation, and aerospace companies as well as government, public and educational institutions among its members. United by a vision to address diverse social issues and create new value through the utilization of high-altitude vehicles in the stratosphere, the Alliance is working to accelerate the development and commercial adoption of HAPS technology by promoting and building industry-wide standards, interoperability guidelines and regulatory policies in both the telecommunication and aviation industries. Since the Alliance was founded in April 2020, membership has grown to 79 companies and organizations from 21 countries at time of writing.

From November 14 to 16, 2023, more than 40 people from 25 member organizations of the HAPS Alliance convened for its first exclusively in-person Member Meeting, which took place at the Applied Innovation Exchange of member company Capgemini in San Francisco, California.

Ken Riordan, HAPS Alliance President and Principal Architect at Nokia Federal Division, opened the meeting with remarks on how far the Alliance has come in its three years of existence and reiterated its simple goal: connecting the unconnected.

Fostering collaboration in the HAPS ecosystem

Fostering collaboration in the HAPS ecosystem

In addition to a roundtable discussion with Alliance leadership, members heard from esteemed guest speakers as they discussed the challenges, strengths, and future of HAPS. Topics included the challenges of integrating diverse aerial vehicles into the airspace system, strategies for higher airspace operations and HAPS, and members’ infrastructure development plans to support HAPS operations.

The Alliance’s three Working Groups – the Marketing and Communications Working Group (MCWG), Telecommunications Working Group (TWG) and Aviation Working Group (AWG) – also updated members on their progress. The MCWG highlighted the launch of a new podcast while the TWG detailed its plan to make standards contributions to multiple groups and regulatory guidance in support of HAPS solutions. The AWG noted their key accomplishments in 2023, including the completion and approval of white papers on operations at scale, HAPS risk framework, and certification challenges.

Five special presentations from member companies were given on a variety of HAPS-related topics, including one from SoftBank on stratospheric weather models and forecasting and its benefits to HAPS operations, methane monitoring and detection in HAPS vehicles, and the importance of investing resources into Higher Airspace Management.

With the overall theme focused on the future of the HAPS Alliance and the evolution of its mission, the meeting strengthened collaboration among members as the Alliance moves into a new era.

About the HAPS Alliance

The HAPS Alliance’s mission is to eliminate the digital divide and bring connectivity to more people, places and things worldwide by using high altitude platform stations (HAPS). The Alliance brings together some of the world's most recognizable companies across telecommunications, technology, aviation and aerospace. United in the goal of promoting HAPS technologies, the Alliance was founded in 2020.

Learn more about the Alliance’s activities and how to join on the HAPS Alliance website.

(Posted on December 22, 2023)
by SoftBank News Editors