Wireless Telecommunications Infrastructure


Onward’s currently available telecom infrastructure   is an aerostat based system deployed at a nominal 1500 meter altitude that provides a fully wireless telecommunication payload capable of  supporting broadband internet, wireless voice and broadcast services or various combinations of all three. A single system can accommodate up to 500,000 subscribers within its 80 kilometer service area.


This base system is comprised of six subsystems ultimately interfacing with the client’s existing operating structure.


  • Aerostat


  • Tether


  • Mooring


  • Payload


  • Ground Control Station


  • Network Operations Center



The aerostat is a tethered unmanned airship approximately 36 meters in length and 12 meters at the widest portion of the hull. It contains roughly 2250 cubic meters of lifting gas and can carry 225 kg of payload mass to an operating  altitude of 1500 meters above mean sea level. The aerostat system meets or exceeds all FAA requirements inclusive of proper lighting and an emergency flight termination system.



The tether anchors the aerostat while in flight and maintains its operating altitude and position. It also provides power to the telecommunication payload as well as the airborne components of the aerostat. Fiber optic cables embedded within the tether provide a bidirectional link between the payload and the Ground Control Station along with the necessary command and telemetry functions. The tether also meets the FAA lighting requirements. The tether unique to Onward is its patented Onboard Helium Replenishment System ( OHRS) providing helium lost to osmosis without requiring aerostat recovery.



It is transportable via its mooring system which includes hydraulically controlled stabilizers and a mooring mast. It is equipped with a heavy duty winch and free modes for turret rotation. A 100 by 100 meter area is required for the deployed system. The power required to operate is 115 kW, a portion of which is supplied to the payload through a power conditioner and a series of patented dual slip rings within the mooring system. A back up power source can also be provided.



The proprietary payload subsystem provides telecommunications services through proven wireless technology. The baseline services can include telephony, broadband, broadcast or a combination of services. All services are based on a common technology platform to simplify reconfiguration. The type of services offered determines the configuration of the payload and will be based on a market analysis for each specific market area. 


Ground Control Station (GCS)

The Ground Control Station is where the aerostat is controlled and status telemetry is displayed, which allows the health of the system to be monitored during flight. The high strength tether’s fiber optic and electrical conductors connect the GCS to the aerostat system and the operational payload. Control commands for the various payload elements are carried through the fiber optics from the GCS. Payload electrical load data, OHRS performance and housekeeping telemetry are down-linked to the GCS for display on high resolution flat panel displays for ease of viewing at the operator’s station. 


Network Operations Center (NOC)


The Networks Operations Center is the segment of the system where the overall telecommunications operation is monitored and controlled.  Connections to the internet, telephone and video sources are made here.  The NOC houses the equipment which provides connectivity to users as well as to the services that support the operational network.  Functionality such as authorization, configuration and security are all controlled within the NOC.