Research firm NSR said in a report last year that high-altitude aircraft, including using, a stratospheric drone, balloons and airships, could bring in $1.7 billion in revenue over the next decade, and estimated there were about 40 development programs under way. It said current efforts are better funded than previous attempts to commercialize stratospheric aircraft,.
Discussing the “pseudo-satellite”, [NSR] told NBC News MACH in an email that high-flying drones like Odysseus could be especially useful for military applications. For commercial clients, he said, competing balloon-based HAPS platforms might be stronger contenders.
[NSR] sees military customers as the main market for the pseudo-satellite Zephyr drone in the near future. Spy cameras aboard a high-flying drone can take much more detailed reconnaissance images of the ground than satellites in orbit.