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Stratosphere, science, sustainability: the immense potential of SolarStratos

SolarStratos – an ideal platform for environmental research carbon-free image capture

Flying an airplane in the stratosphere provides a unique perspective of Earth, not only for the human eye, but also for the scientific instruments used to study the environment. The University of Basel’s Research Group on Physical Geography and Environmental Changes focuses on the connection between environmental changes occurring on the ground and how they are captured by remote sensing.

High-altitude aircraft are an ideal platform to connect the telemetry process with the planet because they offer images with a much higher resolution than satellites and can collect relevant data in the short term and at lower cost.

SolarStratos offers environmental specialists a unique opportunity to develop new sustainable remote sensing tools.

A first flight aimed at testing the feasibility and accessibility of cameras and software for image analysis took place on October 13, 2021. Professor Nikolaus Kuhn, pilot and member of the Physical Geography and Environmental Changes Research Group, flew for two hours with Michel Cunier, a member of the SolarStratos team, to photograph the region between Lake Neuchâtel and Chasseral. These images were then processed in the imaging laboratory of the University of Basel. The results demonstrate that the image quality matches that of Google Earth and other commercial remote sensing products and that stratospheric aircraft can provide the service at a lower cost and with a near-zero environmental footprint.

In 2022, during a series of flights, SolarStratos will continue to support the University of Basel with its research. The images that resulted from the October systematic mapping process focused on the seasonal vegetation cover of the Massif du Jura and will make it possible to follow its evolution with precision while also contributing to reducing environmental impact!

An exclusive preview of the 2022 programme for our partners

It was a happy moment for Raphaël Domjan and the SolarStratos team at the end of January when they were able to welcome the SolarStratos partners once more! During two exclusive events at the end of last month, SolarStratos presented a 2021 retrospective and a 2022 preview.

The 2021 results are very positive, not only did SolarStratos have the honour of retaining the support of its loyal partners, but the group also welcomed two new main partners. As Raphaël Domjan often says: “our incredible solar adventure could not exist without the unconditional support of our partners and donors. I thank you all for your continued faith and loyalty and for always being at our side.” Plus, the planned test flights were all carried out to the satisfaction of the technical team, and the evolution of the communications strategy has made it possible to develop our presence across social networks and to strengthen our visibility.

In 2022, the SolarStratos team can look forward to many challenges and exciting deadlines, including a return to the skies above Switzerland at the end of March, weather permitting, a gala dinner at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first solar-powered circumnavigation by Raphaël Domjan onboard PlanetSolar, and of course more high-altitude flights and world premieres!

LD Switzerland protects pilots’ heads!

Raphaël Domjan and the SolarStratos team are pleased to welcome LD Switzerland as a new official supporter. Creators of helmets for airplane pilots, LD Switzerland is a young company driven by the spirit of innovation. The safety, comfort and creative design of their helmets is widely appreciated among the flying community. Roland Loos, SolarStratos CEO said of the new partnership: “We are delighted with this collaboration which starts this spring with the resumption of flights for Raphaël and our test pilot!”

The team is growing!

The whole SolarStratos team is happy to welcome Iris Muller who is going to support Jennifer Uldry in the marketing and events department from February 1, 2022, for a 6-month internship.

The technical team will also benefit from the skills of two new members this year: Axel Valat, test pilot and Benoît Douxchamps, test engineer, who will accompany Raphaël on his mission!

“Think beyond” with Bitcoin Switzerland

To announce its partnership with SolarStratos, Bitcoin Suisse SA has produced a video demonstrating its pioneering spirit and showcasing its ambition for our adventure. We invite you to watch it here: here :

SolarStratos alongside Bordier & Cie at Geneva International Airport

Look out for SolarStratos in the Gates area of Geneva International Airport where we appear on the big screen alongside Bordier & Cie in celebration of our partnership! No one can fly without a thought for our solar adventure!