06167263 is referenced by 76 patents and cites 30 patents.

A global communications network comprises a plurality of aerial platforms or vehicles deployed at an altitude in or near the stratosphere and permitted to drift in a controlled manner such that each platform adjusts its position relative to other aerial platforms. Each aerial platform has a propulsion system and control surfaces and preferably includes a lighter-than-air component to maintain lift in an economical manner. Each aerial platform also includes a payload, means for communicating with other aerial platforms and a control system including location-finding equipment and a processor adapted for directing the platform's propulsion system and control surfaces to effectuate changes in the aerial platform's position relative to other aerial platforms based on position information, and optionally on other factors such as terrestrial demand for services provided by the payload of the aerial platforms. The communications network according to the present invention accordingly provides a self-adjusting network for creating and maintaining a global communications link optionally capable of interoperating with one or more orbiting communications satellites or with ground, air or sea-based equipment.

Title
Aerial communications network including a plurality of aerial platforms
Application Number
9/79824
Publication Number
6167263
Application Date
May 15, 1998
Publication Date
December 26, 2000
Inventor
J Scott Campbell
New York City
NY, US
Agent
White & Case
Assignee
Spherecore
NY, US
IPC
H04B 7/185
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