Jiří Pavlík, Richard Hynek, Jan Snížek, Marek Novák, Martin Farkač, Václav Beránek, Michal Kuneš
Since Earth‘s atmosphere blocks out most infrared wavelengths, humankind currently uses satellites to obtain infrared data and explore the universe. Meanwhile, the number of orbital infrared observatories is low, which makes the procedure for obtaining customer-specific data very time-consuming and costly. Stratosyst has thus developed a high-altitude platform for infrared data acquisition in the stratosphere. The advantage of this kind of observation is that the sky/universe can be observed for an extremely long period of time in conditions comparable to orbital satellites at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, the hardware can be recovered after the end of each mission. The first prototype will be a fully functional infrared observatory which will stay in the stratosphere and maintain its position over an extended period of time. The position of the platform will be feedback-controlled by GNSS data.
Stratosyst’s stratospheric platform for infrared astronomy is considerably cheaper to launch and operate than satellites and can provide the same service at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, some of its parts are reusable and the hardware can easily be recovered after each mission.