Raven Aerostar: The Driver of Excellence in the Stratosphere

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Scott Wickersham, General Manager, Raven AerostarScott Wickersham, General Manager
The launch of Explorer 1 on January 31, 1958, heralded the beginning of the U.S. space-age, paving the way for successful space missions and satellite launches for the years to come.

Fast forward to today.

Satellites have become the core centers for communication, navigation, weather forecasting, and space observation, and are also playing a crucial role in military intelligence capabilities. However, as space continues to become an increasingly contested environment, the stratosphere is an emerging domain that offers new capabilities and unique advantages. Raven Aerostar is a leader with developing and fielding technology that exploits the stratospheric domain.

Raven Aerostar, a subsidiary of Raven Industries, traces its roots back to 1956, when it specialized in the development and manufacturing of high-altitude platforms for both civilian and military applications. Backed by its over half-a-century worth of knowledge and expertise, Raven Aerostar, today, is an expert in all aspects of stratospheric technologies and a growing player in the aerospace sector.

To that end, one of the notable value propositions of the company is its unrivaled foothold in the stratosphere, which, even today, is mostly untapped but holds significant potential for new and valuable near-space applications.

Raven Aerostar’s multidisciplinary engineering team and breadth of expertise with sensors, autonomy, systems design, and integration allow Raven Aerostar to deliver fully integrated solutions.
“We are the leader with delivering reliable platforms and navigating in the stratosphere, but our emphasis is working with our industry and government partners to deliver end-to-end solutions with unique value,” says Scott Wickersham, the Division Vice President at Raven Aerostar.

True to his words, the company’s solutions are expanding connectivity and providing communication and sensor solutions both civilian and government clients, including NASA and the Department of Defense. At the center of its robust portfolio is the crown jewel of high altitude solutions—the Thunderhead Balloon Systems, which enables long duration controlled, high altitudes flight at a fraction of the cost of alternative systems. The Thunderhead Balloon System provides autonomous navigation by analyzing directional wind patterns and flight parameters to change altitudes to achieve mission objectives. Thunderhead Balloon Systems have navigational ability that allows users to exploit the stratospheric domain like never before.
  • We are the leader with delivering reliable platforms and navigating in the stratosphere, but our emphasis is working with our industry and government partners to deliver end-to-end solutions

Aerospace and Defense Solutions

Raven Aerostar is making its mark in other areas of the aerospace and defense industry. Adding to its legacy of lighter-than-air technology, the company’s tethered aerostats are deployed and have been protecting the warfighter for years. The company also has a portfolio of radar systems and perception solutions that are enhancing situational awareness and enabling new autonomy solutions that are shaping the future. Raven Aerostar’s HiPointer Radar Systems combine the latest hardware development along with the advanced signal processing to provide the most effective tracking solutions at an attractive size, weight, and power (SWaP) specifications.

Illuminating the Path to the Future of Aerospace

Raven Aerostar is driven to find and develop innovative solutions that provide unparalleled value to the clients. Whether using stratospheric platforms to reach beyond the horizon or integrating new sensor technology that improves situational awareness, the team is focused on understanding the needs and opportunities of their clients.

Treading on this innovation path, Raven Aerostar is poised to reach new heights in the aerospace and defense sector. The company is achieving new milestones with navigation and payloads that provide new capabilities. “We have a talented team that is changing the world and believes in our purpose to connect, protect, and save lives,” concludes Wickersham.
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Raven Aerostar

Sioux Falls, SD

Scott Wickersham, General Manager

Raven Aerostar is a world leader in designing and manufacturing highly technical aerospace and defense solutions. The company is committed to rapid innovation of highly technical and groundbreaking technology that enhances security and connects the world. Raven Aerostar has taken lighter-than-air technologies to all new heights by leveraging the most brilliant minds, materials, and machinery for over 60 years to connect, protect, and save lives. By leveraging engineering expertise, manufacturing knowledge, and a thirst for innovation, the company has revolutionized its product lines and embraced its mission to continue the pioneering work of Raven Industries

Raven Aerostar