Sierra Nevada Corporation, World View, Partner to Deliver Next-Gen Stratospheric Balloon Platforms

November 29, 2022

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and World View, a global leader in stratospheric ballooning, have announced a strategic agreement to field and operate uncrewed platforms for stratospheric communications and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).

The partnership combines SNC’s defense and aerospace integration, payload, and mission systems expertise with World View’s high-altitude Earth observation capability to pursue new missions. SNC’s modular open systems architecture and integration capabilities allow World View platforms to carry advanced defense and aerospace payloads, adding capabilities like ISR and electronic warfare sensors, communication networks, cyber intelligence, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data transport.

World View's patented technology for Earth observation and collection and sharing of valuable information has made it an industry pioneer in providing a platform for hosting unique and proven sensors that provide a full C5ISR architecture to include high-resolution imagery of Earth via remotely-operated stratospheric balloons.

The World View Stratollite® balloon is a remotely operated stratospheric vehicle that delivers commercial, scientific, and government payloads to the near-space environment with revolutionary new control capabilities, including precision landing and payload recovery. Its patented Altitude Control System allows for dynamic, point-to-point navigation over large distances and persistent flight over specific areas of interest. It is capable of operating at altitudes up to 75,000 ft (~23 km). SNC has considerable experience with ‘lighter-than-air’ high-altitude platforms and collection systems, offering rapid development, integration, and deployment of all-domain C5ISR systems worldwide for nearly 60 years.

The partnership between SNC and World View has recently demonstrated a rapidly maneuverable, ultra-persistent wide area communications and ISR platform as part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s Project Aether Programme. SNC’s Flight 1 demonstration launched from Page, Arizona, performing key station-keeping missions before transitioning northeast across several states to more urban environments. SNC successfully performed all stratospheric beyond-line-of-sight operations and recovered the payload, maintaining the altitudes for the duration set by the Aether programme office.

The partnership between SNC and World View will yield benefits on a global scale, integrating World View’s innovative stratospheric technology and robust station-keeping abilities with SNC’s mission solution architecture to deliver real-time data and uninterrupted communications at high altitudes.


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