Dr. Moazam Maqsood
Dr. Aamir Habib
Dr. Umar Iqbal Bhatti
Airline industry is growing at a fast pace with long haul aero planes now in common use. Passengers wish and need to be connected to the internet during their flights which is not possible by currently available systems. Such a system that can provide internet connectivity during the flight time of an aero plane can be developed through high altitude platform (HAP). HAP needs to be deployed well above the passenger airplane flight window and can provide router of internet services from a ground link to aero planes during their cruise flight. Once HAPs are in place these become a useful tool in providing navigation to the users on the Earth. This means that these will transmit their position (assuming four or more HAPs operating simultaneously) and users on Earth can locate its position. These will act as an effective replacement to multi-billion dollars navigation satellite constellations being deployed by developed countries at a fraction of cost. A strong candidate for potential use of this is our defense industry since Pakistan does not own a satellite navigation system. If the hostile country is using a satellite navigation system Pakistan forces are at a loss. The situation will be that of a blind man facing a fully capable armed enemy.
Institute of Space Technology (IST) is one of the top engineering institutions offering specialized courses in Aerospace, Communication Systems and Materials science. Being the only institution with a locally developed nano-satellite (iCube), IST has taken the lead role in the field of space and communications engineering. Apart from demonstrating the technical skills, IST through its iCube project has demonstrated the capabilities of successful mission planning, project management and task execution.
Achieving HAP based communication and navigation capability will bring revenue from both Airline and Telecommunication industry as well as from defense sector.