Frequently Asked Questions
This is a selection of answers to the questions we get asked most often. If there's anything you want to know about our OSPREY technology don't hesitate to contact us.
What happens to the OSPREY in inclement weather, e.g. lightning, snow, very strong winds?
The OSPREY is designed to survive 100+ mph winds and operate in heavy precipitation. A secondary conductive path within the electromechanical tether grounds the OSPREY and protects sensitive electrical equipment from lightning current surge
Why do you use helium?
The OSPREY System will use helium for all deployments. Modern airships, blimps and aerostats have used helium for decades to lift heavy equipment into the air for long periods of time. The OSPREY lifter adapts existing industrial-grade fabric technology to achieve a low gas leak rate similar to modern helium inflatables. Hydrogen is also approved and deployed as a lifting gas for aerostats and could be used for future products.
What if the shell is punctured?
The OSPREY System is fitted with sensors that identify pressure variations in the shell which are indicative of punctures in the fabric. If a severe puncture is detected the OSPREY will be lowered for repair. For decades, similar aerostat technology has proven extremely resilient to small punctures, because the internal pressure of an aerostat is only slightly higher than the external environment, resulting in very low leak rates.
What if a tether breaks loose?
The OSPREY System utilises the very latest in fibre technology. In the very unlikely scenario that a tether breaks loose, an automatic vent will begin to release helium to allow the OSPREY to slowly descend to the ground. Similar safety features have been reliably demonstrated on hundreds of existing aerostats.How does the OSPREY prevent impact from birds and aircraft?Each OSPREY is fitted with lightweight indicator lights for nighttime deployment and a beacon to alert nearby aircraft. According to Normandeau Associates, a leading environmental consultancy, “birds and bats are likely to be behaviorally averse to entering the shrouded space where the turbines spin,” thereby reducing the potential impact on avian wildlife.
Can the OSPREY lift additional equipment?
The OSPREY can lift an additional moderate weight payload capacity, which includes cellular antennas, VHF/UHF Two Way Radio antennas, Wireless Internet, video and infrared surveillance cameras, meteorological devices and other payload systems.