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Galaxy lighter-than-air UAS test-bed advancing airspace integration with new funding

CityBiz news service reports that Fort Worth-based Galaxy Unmanned Systems LLC, a TechFW member company, has been awarded USD1.25 million grant to continue building on its airspace integration roadmap.

“This Direct to Phase Two (D2P2) award will facilitate the construction and flight demonstration of a Galaxy prototype unmanned airship for Advanced Air Mobility research,” according to the report. “The Phase 2 effort consists of adapting Phase 1 simulations and lessons learned from prototype work on previous Phase 2 awards, commercial, dual-use applications and Air Force-specific feedback and considerations.”

“Galaxy’s research and development platform concept is called Persistent Airborne Laboratory, or PAL. Initially, the airship will have an APU-generated electric propulsion system and then graduate to an augmented solar reversible hydrogen fuel cell to power the four electric motors — two left and two right — mounted close to the latitudinal axis of the non-ridged envelope.

In October 2019, GUS was awarded a 12-month, USD111K Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract ( for a US Army sponsored study of “enhancement and augmentation of current aerostat capabilities that provide low-cost, persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance during high-intensity conflicts, according toa company briefing document.

“Under this contract, GUS and its partner firms performed a feasibility study for leveraging GUS’s commercial unmanned airship designs for military use and demonstrating potential advanced capabilities through the use of commercial products as military prototypes. The deliverables in 2020 included design concepts for Army review for hybrid aerostat/airships that can operate autonomously.

“In November 2020, SBIR awarded GUS a 6-month, USD150K contract ( for a US Air Forcesponsored STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) Phase I project to develop design concepts for an “LTA Hybrid Electric ‘Orb’ for Urban Air Mobility.

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