Here are some highlights of the Global Observer airplane program that I worked on for four years at AeroVironment (

The Global Observer system is designed to work like a 12-mile-high, redeployable satellite to provide coverage over an area of up to 600 miles in diameter. Global Observer will be capable of supporting multiple high-value applications, including communications relay; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions for defense and homeland security; storm tracking; telecommunications infrastructure; wildfire detection/tracking; maritime operations; and disaster recovery services.

For more info, see the Wikipedia article on Global Observer.

Historic Hydrogen-Powered Flight

Global Observer successfully completed its historic first hydrogen-powered flight at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California.

Jan 2011

First Flight

Global Observer successfully completes maiden flight.

Aug 2010

Wing Load Test

Global Observer successfully completes Wing Load Testing.

Jun 2010

Ground and Taxi Testing

Global Observer aircraft successfully completes ground and taxi testing in preparation for first flight.

Apr 2010

Propulsion System

Global Observer propulsion system achieves multi-day operation in atmospheric chamber to simulate flight conditions.

Sep 2008

Joint Capability Technology Program

AV awarded Global Observer Joint Capability Technology Demonstration program, opens development and production facility.

Oct 2007