EghtesadOnline: The Iranian Space Research Center is planning to build an airship, head of the center said.
Feasibility studies have begun and the project will become operational soon, Hossein Samimi told Mehr News Agency.
"The airship is more advanced compared to communication balloons for providing communication and Internet services during emergencies," he said.
In most developed countries when communication towers and ground-based telecom infrastructure do not operate properly during natural disasters, satellite communication technologies are employed, Financial Tribune reported.
However, costs of using such services are significantly higher than deploying communication balloons and airships.
Development of communication satellites and their launch have been high on Iran’s agenda. However, so far the efforts have not yielded the desired results. Two satellite launches failed over the past few months.
Balloons have helped in emergency situations such as the recent floods in several provinces.
Explaining the difference between a communication balloon and an airship, Samimi said the former is immobile, while airships are capable of controlled flight.
Airships are equipped with an electric motor, enabling it to navigate through the air and provide communication services in different areas.
"Depending on the type of application, airships can be built in different shapes, with the ability to move vertically and horizontally with low and high speed."
Communication balloons are stationary facilities help establish connectivity in a limited area and are especially useful when ground-based infrastructure is unusable or insufficient.
In the last two years, communication balloons were used to provide mobile network and internet connection services to pilgrims traveling to Iraq on foot to attend religious ceremonies.
Large numbers of pilgrims prefer to walk from Iran to Iraq to attend the annual mourning ceremonies in the holy city of Karbala. The journey usually takes two weeks.