- With our fuel cell technology we are saving a lot of weight, says technology director Arild Vik at CMR Prototech; - With conventional batteries Stratobus would not be able to fly.

Designing the energy solutions for autonomous airships

The Stratobus project is a new concept for an autonomous airship, operating at an altitude of about 20 kilometers. It is led by Thales Alenia Space (TAS). CMR Prototech has been chosen by Thales Alenia Space to supply the platform’s energy storage system.

The Stratobus project is led by Thales Alenia Space (TAS). It is a new concept for an autonomous airship, operating at an altitude of about 20 kilometers.



This is in the lower reaches of the stratosphere, but well above air traffic and jet streams. Stratobus will be able to carry a 250kg/5kW payload. Use of Stratobus covers a wide range of potential applications, including e.g. border and maritime surveillance, telecom and gps augmentation. The platform itself is a high-altitude airship measuring about 100 x Ø30 meters.

The Stratobus platform will require continuous significant energy input to offset the wind. It will feature a number of technological innovations, in particular to make sure it captures the Sun's rays in all seasons, a power generation system and an ultra-light reversible fuel cell for energy storage.


Supplying the platform’s energy storage system


Stratobus use solar energy to power payloads and the electric propulsion system, and therefore need to store energy that can be used at night when no solar power is available. The energy storage system is a regenerative fuel cell system (RFCS) consisting of an electrolyser, water-, hydrogen- and oxygen storage tanks, a fuel cell and auxiliary components. RFCS technology is preferred over other energy storage technologies due to low mass and corresponding high specific energy (Wh/kg), which is essential for the Stratobus platform. The degree of innovation in this project is high and exclusive designs/ solutions must be developed by Prototech including among others:

  • High efficiency fuel cells
  • Compact high pressure electrolyser
  • Advanced manufacturing process to reduce mass and production cost
  • System integration and autonomous operation without maintenance


The project was thoroughly described in the Norwegian journal Elektronikk, Read more (Norwegian)

Link to the youtube-video by Thales

Associated companies:

Related news

Latest news

Damen in Partnership Agreement with TeamTec

Damen Green Solutions has signed a letter of intent with Norwegian company TeamTec to supply and service the innovative AVITALIS™ ballast water treatment system.

Consilium Receives First Order for Web-based Remote Playback Service

Consilium has launched a new web-based service for ship-to-shore transfer and playback of ship voyage data. The first order for this new Remote Playback service comes from Stena Line Scandinavia AB, following a period...


Interested in a complete overview of the Norwegian seafood industry, including products, origin, buying, selling, peparation, tips and tricks? Try the new content resource fromnorway.com, powered by the Norwegian Seafood C...

CMR about allocation uncertainty at North Sea Flow Measurement

In times with increased focus on risk minimization and cost-efficiency in the oil and gas sector, it is more important than ever to understand the uncertainty involved in the distribution of produced oil and gas amongst co...

Great interest in smart options

An increasing number of people become aware of how smart options can make the construction process more efficient and life for residents easier, says product manager NorDan Smart, Olav Hjørungnes.

Salmon Wellboat Sails Electric

The new MS SEIHAV has now gone on chart with the Norwegian salmon farming company Lerøy Seafood Group. A reliable and environmentally sustainable propulsion arrangement has been chosen for MS SEIHAV.

Servogear at Interferry 2016

It is almost time for the 41th annual Interferry Conference. From October 15-19, Servogear will be present in Manila.

Strainstall mooring monitoring for Hywind

Strainstall provides specialised mooring monitoring for pioneering floating offshore wind farm project, Hywind. Collaboration with MacGregor delivers fully integrated mooring solution to monitor the forces on the floating ...

NSM Signs contract with Embraer

Norwegian Special Mission signed a contract with Embraer to supply six (6) UNIFIS 3000 Navaids Flight Inspection Systems to be integrated into six Embraer Legacy 500 aircraft.