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We are revolutionising urban air mobility of the future - sustainable, emission-free and safe.
Smart cities and the need for accurate real-time data, such as the strength of the mobile network over cities, are driving demand for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that can fly over crowds, emit no harmful emissions, while offering highly customisable and precise sensor integration.
Our h-aero® flight systems combine all of these. We are setting new standards in airborne data collection by enabling low-cost and effective geo-referenced data to be obtained from low airspace over urban areas. (earth observation).
We define the so-called U-Space (coordinated airspace for use over urban areas) for the urban air mobility of the future. Our focus is on future-proof and sustainable SmartCity applications, such as the measurement of mobile phone strength over urban areas. Field strength measurement is a crucial aspect of Smart Cities: it can be used to monitor and analyse the quality of electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by various sources such as cell towers, Wi-Fi networks and other wireless devices. Field strength measurement via SmartCities provides added value in terms of environmental health (limit compliance), interference management (signal interference), network optimisation (illumination) and wireless network planning and development(U-Space corridors) by monitoring and analysing the electromagnetic fields.
h-aero® is located between drones and satellites. This creates a new flight concept that is as energy efficient as a balloon, but as agile as a multicopter. Compared to a conventional multicopter, h-aero has an elliptical helium cell. The lifting gas allows this lighter-than-air technology to stay in the air much longer and more efficiently, and is just as economical as a balloon with much greater agility. This makes them suitable for airborne industrial inspection for earth observation or surveillance.
Our patented technology is characterised by extremely high safety, a very long flight duration and the large variety of data available at high resolution. Unlike commercial drones, the h-aero® carries the payload by means of static lift (helium) and uses motors for manoeuvring, significantly reducing energy consumption.
h-aero® is establishing itself as the most innovative, environmentally friendly, airborne carrier medium for observation, research and communication applications. With the h-aero zero, zero+ and h-aero one, we have already developed and completed three ready-to-sell flight systems with different payloads. All flight systems are superior to conventional multicopters in terms of flight duration, safety and operating costs: Compared to conventional drones, our LTA UAV offers a three to five times higher payload and a 10 times longer flight duration of more than 10 hours for near real-time monitoring. In addition, unlike drones, the h-aero® is allowed to fly over crowds due to its inherent safety characteristic.
We have already sold more than 20 systems worldwide and carried out over 100 successful flight missions, with sales of over 500.000€.
Image: Vodafone und h-aero® start flying 5G-Computer | Source: adrian schaetz photography
About Hybrid-Airplane Technologies GmbH
Hybrid-Airplane Technologies GmbH (HAT) is a spin-off of the University of Stuttgart and was established in Baden-Baden in 2016 by its founders Dr.-Ing. Csaba Singer and Christian Schultze with the aim of sustainably commercialising lighter-than-air technology. . So far, no other company has succeeded in doing so. Due to the early start, our know-how and the target-oriented strategic focus on visibility, we have been dominating the emerging market and technology around helium drones (LTA-UAV, lighter than air unmanned aerial vehicle) for years.
As an innovative, patented flight concept and carrier medium for the commercial market for UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) with superior technical parameters, h-aero® will enable a wide range of applications in the fields of exploration, surveillance, communication and others.
Image: Award ceremony for the Innovation Prize BW 2019, "Dr Rudolf Eberle Prize". The prize is awarded annually to medium-sized companies for the application of new technologies.
Dr. -Ing. Csaba Singer
The problem, solved by h-aero® flight systems, is that traditional flight systems such as drones and airships have limited flight durations and payload capacity as they require more energy or helium to keep themselves in the air, resulting in higher operating costs.
However, with the h-aero® flight system, payloads can be kept in a manoeuvrable hover against gravity in the smallest possible size, fitting into a transporter when assembled, resulting in significantly lower energy consumption and longer flight time, which was previously not possible with traditional flight systems. This is unique and new worldwide.
It addresses technical challenges of endurance, safety, acceptance, payload and noise of unmanned aerial systems in industrial inspection, earth observation and surveillance. The current product range can be deployed up to 5000m above sea level.
Our innovative LTA UAV offers several unique selling points that allow us to revolutionise mobile strength surveying over smart cities. Compared to conventional drones, our LTA UAV offers three to five times the payload and 10 times the flight time of more than 10 hours for near real-time monitoring.. Our aircraft is capable of capturing geo-referenced data at altitudes of up to 5 km and offers centimetre-level resolutions. In addition, our LTA UAV is fully digital and, unlike conventional planes and helicopters, leaves no harmful emissions, making it an environmentally friendly and sustainable solution. Multi-channel communication and full 5G connectivity ensure fast and reliable transmission of data.
Image: Fliegender 5G-Computer: Vodafone stattet h-aero mit 5G aus | Source: adrian schaetz photography
The h-aero® flight systems utilise the static and dynamic lift generated by an aerodynamic helium-filled ellipsoid envelope. Two wings are attached to opposite sides of the lenticular fuselage. The wings are designed in such a way that h-aero® is able to switch between a rotationally symmetrical (helicopter) and a mirror symmetrical (aircraft) configuration.
In this way, h-aero® combines the advantages of the well-known concepts balloon, helicopter and aeroplane and eliminates some of their disadvantages. H-aero® has the following characteristics resulting from the synergetic combination of balloons, helicopters and aeroplanes:
- VTOL or directed cruise flight
- high agility
- highest safety
- sustainable operation
- saving of helium
Since 2017, we have launched three product versions, the h-aero zero, h-aero zero+ and h-aero one with 500g, 1kg and 3kg payloads respectively. Having demonstrated the technological feasibility, we are now looking to expand the capabilities of the system to be used in different areas of Earth observation.
Unique selling points
The h-aero® flight systems offer a number of unique selling points compared to helicopters, aeroplanes and drones when it comes to surveying mobile network strength over cities. Here are the most important points:
Green and sustainable
Our LTA UAV is more environmentally friendly than helicopters and aeroplanes, because it does not emit harmful emissions. This makes it ideal for use in densely populated cities.
Longer flight duration
Compared to drones, our LTA-UAV can stay in the air much longer thanks to its improved endurance. This means we are able to cover larger areas with fewer flights.
Our technology allows us to carry three times the payload (10 kg) of drones, allowing us to deploy more and varied survey equipment.
We can achieve a resolution of 10-20 cm, which is ten times higher than the resolution, that can be achieved with drones. This higher resolution is particularly advantageous in urban areas.
Higher flying altitude
Our LTA UAV can fly higher than drones and will reach flight altitudes of up to 10 km in the future. This allows us to cover larger areas in a single flyover.
We can use multiple channels for data transmission simultaneously with our LTA-UAV, which increases efficiency and reliability. This is especially important for real-time monitoring of mobile networks.
Our LTA-UAV offers full 5G connectivity, enabling high-speed data transmission and real-time monitoring.
Lower operating costs
Compared to helicopters and aeroplanes, the operating costs of our LTA UAV are significantly lower. This makes it more cost-effective for businesses and government agencies to collect data over mobile networks.
Lower noise pollution
Our LTA UAV is quieter than helicopters and aeroplanes, causing less noise in urban areas.
These unique selling points make our LTA-UAV ideal for measuring mobile network strength over cities.
h-aero® is therefore establishing itself as the most innovative, environmentally friendly, airborne carrier medium for observation, research and communication applications (floating cybernetics). With the h-aero zero, zero+ and h-aero one, HAT has already developed and completed three ready-for-sale flight systems with different payloads (0.5 - 3 kg). All flight systems are superior to conventional multicopters in terms of flight duration, safety, application possibilities and operating costs.
In direct comparison to multicopters and in contrast to them, the h-aero flight systems may also fly over large crowds due to their inherent safety characteristics. The expandability and development potential of the company's patented system approach are clearly summarised in the following graphic.
Business model and distribution
Profitable success through proven B2B model and global partnerships: Our business model focuses on targeted expansion of our manufacturers and distribution partners to generate a revenue range of 20-250k€ in sales and 2k€-10k€ per month per system through our world-class data collection services. Our h-aero plus model range has been proven in proof-of-concept projects and shows huge potential of up to 70% cost savings in relevant industrial processes. With series production starting in 2023 to 2024 and scaling up production, we will prospectively reduce prices to offer our h-aero one flagship aircraft at an affordable price of €60,000. In addition, we offer maintenance contracts for all our aircraft types to ensure smooth and long-term customer retention.
Our sales network includes independent resellers and first-market distributors to distribute our outstanding products and services to government agencies, research institutions, telecom providers, insurers and mass transit providers such as Volocopter or Lilium. We offer a wide range of h-aero aircraft, services, data and software licences to provide customised solutions to our clients. Our series production is conservatively planned to ensure continuous quality assurance and smooth expansion of our distribution network. With our proven business model and strong global partnerships, we are ready to establish a new era in the aviation industry.
Image: The state exhibition in the “Baden-Württemberg Haus” at the World Expo Dubai presents selected future topics of the state.
Market and target group
The market for surveying cellular strength over cities is an important part of the smart city market. With the increasing penetration of smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices, the demand for reliable cellular services and the fast transmission of data has increased tremendously. To meet this demand, mobile operators and providers need to be able to collect and analyse accurate and reliable data on mobile strength in urban areas. There are several value-adds for mobile operators in knowing the mobile strength across SmartCities height-dependent in U-Space.
First, by knowing the mobile strength at different altitudes within U-Space, mobile operators can provide better service to their customers. For example, if a customer is using an air taxi or drone to travel or deliver goods, the mobile operator can ensure that a reliable connection is maintained during the flight by adjusting the mobile strength accordingly. This can help to satisfy the customer and enhance the mobile operator's reputation as a reliable provider of air transport services.
In addition, knowing the mobile strength at different altitudes can also be strategically important for mobile operators. By working with SmartCities, wireless carriers can extend their reach and offerings to U-Space, expanding their presence in the aviation industry. This could help create new revenue streams for the company and strengthen the company's competitive advantage. Finally, by knowing the mobile strength at different altitudes within U-Space, mobile operators could also help in the development of new technologies and services for the aviation industry. By collaborating with other players in the aviation industry, mobile operators could develop innovative solutions tailored to the needs and requirements of aviation service providers, helping to drive the industry forward.
In addition, cities are looking to improve their infrastructure and services by implementing smart city technologies based on real-time data and analytics.
The target audience for surveying mobile strength over cities is primarily mobile operators and providers, but also cities, municipalities and government agencies interested in improving the quality and coverage of mobile services in their area. In addition, there are also companies and organisations that are involved in the provision of smart city technologies and therefore have an interest in collecting and analysing mobile data.
Targets and use of capital
The objectives are to make investments in marketing, sales, software and hardware development, administration, production and research and development to enable market entry. We will also hire additional personnel for marketing, sales, software and hardware development, administration and production, and engage qualified external service providers for research and development projects. In addition, materials for the pre-production of 50 carrier systems per model will be purchased to enable rapid processing of customer orders.
- Data acquisition and transmission
- Security and certification
- Scalability and economic efficiency
- Break Even
- 50 Systems in the Air
The funds provided to HAT will be used for R&D (further expansion of the product line), marketing & sales, support for sales partners and distributors and for product demos and PoCs - as well as for general strengthening of the organisation.
Successes until today
We have already launched three product versions: h-aero zero, h-aero zero+ and h-aero one with payload weights of 500 g, 1 kg and 3 kg respectively. We have already sold more than 20 systems worldwide and carried out more than 100 successful flight missions, with sales of more than 500.000€.
We have received several awards, including:
- the Copernicus Masters Winner 2017 (ESA)
- the Innovation Award Baden-Württemberg (Ministry)
- the German Mobility Award 2020 (Federal Ministry)
- the Shortlist Finalists of the SDG Award 2021 (United Nations)
- the EIC Seal of Excellence (European Commission)
- Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label Feb.2023.
HAT's goal is to develop a robust and comprehensive patent portfolio that protects all the IP rights underlying our innovative h-aero flight system and ensures safe commercialisation. We have already applied for and received first patents for our hybrid aircraft (ultra-light and stable design and hybrid flight concept).
A total of 2 patents have been granted in 11 EU countries and in the USA (WO2017207666A3, DE102006028885B4). With the support of the specialist law firm Pfiz/Gauss Patent Attorneys, we will continue to extend the existing patents to new countries and regions (e.g. Asia) and file corresponding patents for each new innovative development. Our company will continue to be the sole owner of the intellectual property and have all exploitation rights to it. As we act as a data provider for our customers, we will guarantee that all data collected with h-aero will remain confidential and accessible under the strictest security standards (close cooperation with cloud providers).
Our company has received several grants, among others from
- the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU)
- the ProTect programme (L-Bank, SK-Ventures, The Länd)
- Start80 of the state of Baden-Württemberg
- HOAMAT (Free State of Bavaria, LuFo).
- German Foreign Broadcasting (Deutsche Welle)
- Vodafone OMR
- Fraport PoC
- ESA BIC PoC
- MIT – Review
- Dubai EXPO 2020
- Solar Impulse Efficient solution Label
- German Federal Foundation for the Environment - Green-StartUp
- The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System
- Wikipedia: H-Aero
- Wikipedia: High Altitude Platform Station