Automated transport systems/Solar-powered airships

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Solar airship.JPG

One promising technology for moving freight around the world would be to create lighter-than-air, solar-powered, high-altitude, high-speed airships. At least one design for such a craft has already been worked out.

The craft is filled with helium, making it lighter than air and allowing it to rise into the sky without using energy. It is designed to fly at a height of nearly 11000m. At this altitude, air is thinner, so less air-resistance is offered to the unaerodynamic bulbous airship moving through the sky. The large top of the airship is covered with solar panels and because it flies above all cloud-cover and above 11km of air that blocks the sun's energy, it is able to access abundant solar energy, regardless of the weather. It can fly day and night at speeds of about 200km/h.