FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. and STUTTGART , Germany , Nov. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanswire Networks LLC, subsidiary of GlobeTel Communications Corp. (Pink Sheets: GTEM), and TAO Technologies, GmbH, today announced that initial testing and free flight missions of the Sanswire Autonomous Solar, "SAS-51," a solar-powered, autonomously-controlled airship designed to fly on pre- determined low altitude missions, commenced on November 22, 2007 . The SAS-51 is the first Sanswire.branded product ready for commercialization, resulting from the Sanswire/TAO relationship. The SAS-51 is a result of long term airship development initiatives undertaken by TAO and its predecessors, working with the University of Stuttgart .
"We're pleased to demonstrate the first of several aerial vehicles resulting from our relationship with TAO," stated Jonathan Leinwand , Chief Executive Officer of GlobeTel Communications. "The application capabilities for the SAS-51 are numerous and have opened up potential new markets, including border control, pipeline monitoring, crop analysis, emergency communications and geological surveying."
The compact SAS-51 solar powered ship can be rapidly deployed on missions within hours, utilizing a mobilized hangar attached to a delivery vehicle. Weighing just under 100 kilograms (220 lbs.) and measuring 15.6 meters (51.2 ft.) in length, the lighter-than-air platform has achieved a maximum altitude of approximately 1000 meters (3280 ft.). Envisioned to be predominantly a low speed and stationary surveillance and monitoring platform, the airship has attained a maximum velocity of 46 kilometers per hour (28.5 miles per hour) during previous free flight tests, and depending on the mission profile, can produce a coverage path of approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles).
Solar power fuels the airship's electric needs, making the SAS-51 completely emissions-free. The solar generators consist of three solar panels each. The panels, flexible enough to be mounted on the airship's hull, contain individual solar cells that connect to the charging equipment of the flight accumulators. The accumulators provide a stabilizing and buffering effect to counter variables that would effect the collection of energy, including clouds and time of day. This helps ensure a steady stream of power to the SAS-51's propulsion equipment and components that rely on electricity such as the rudder machines, ballonet fans and valves. All systems including the surveillance, location, and electrical activity are monitored from the ground base station in real time.
The SAS-51's pressurized hull is composed of a combination of Tedlar and Mylar that effectively has reduced the helium diffusion rate to one liter per day. Sanswire and TAO believe this to be a rate of permeability that easily accommodates the missions the airship was built to execute.
Pending favorable weather conditions during upcoming weeks, additional free flight demonstrations of the SAS-51 will include missions carrying payload integrations of video surveillance equipment energized by onboard solar-powered electrical systems; all guided from the ground by proprietary flight control systems.
On September 26, 2007 , GlobeTel and TAO announced that they had reached an agreement in principle to form Sanswire-TAO GmbH, which will own the intellectual property associated with the design of high altitude airships. On November 27, 2007 , GlobeTel and TAO announced that they had entered into an exclusive airship licensing agreement for territories including the US, Canada , Mexico and Chile .
About Sanswire Networks and GlobeTel Communications Corp.
GlobeTel Communications Corp. (Pink Sheets: GTEM) develops and provides an integrated suite of terrestrial and aerospace telecommunications products and services, leveraging its advances in VoIP and Wireless Access technologies. Sanswire Networks is focused on the construction of airship platforms capable of carrying payloads that transmit various types of wireless communications and security solutions. For more information, please visit www.globetel.net.