Platforms & Services

Purpose Built for the Stratosphere

The HiDRON is a unique balloon-launched unmanned glider capable of high-altitude flight; autonomous and soaring flight modes; and operates well in the cold stratospheric environment (-60° C).

Once the balloon reaches the target altitude, the HiDRON is released and glides in a controlled descent. The return flight  back to home can be altered in real-time by the operator at the ground station and landing is automatic. This new method of launch, lift and retrieve brings the instrument and data and/or samples back in a controlled descent. This represents a significant leap when compared to typical balloon launched lift-and-drift methods where the instrument descends by parachute uncontrolled and may land hundreds of kilometres adrift from the launch site. Quick-repeat campaigns can be performed at fraction of the cost of piloted aircraft. Stratodynamics’ extensive experience with flight permissions enables full launch support from a variety of locations around the world.

Stratodynamics has set several aviation records in Canada including:

Highest altitude UAV flight from over 34 km (110,000 feet)
First UAV flight above 29,000 feet in Class A and B airspace
First release of a UAV from a scientific gondola in Canada

The HiDRON Suborbital (SO)

Stratodynamics’ clients have expressed the need for a cost-effective and retrievable platform to collect data from earth observation equipment weighing 5 kg.

The HiDRON SO is currently in development with funding from the Canadian Space Agency and in collaboration with the University of Waterloo. The payload bay is designed to house a 5kg, 5U Cubesat payload.

Stratodynamics is seeking a payload to host on first flights in 2023.

More to come in the weeks to follow…

Custom Integration

We custom integrate instruments within aircraft power supply, sensors, telemetry, and component heating systems. Data is transmitted in real-time to the ground station and collected. The data set is time-stamped to 10 Hz, collated with GPS location and can be combined with over 200 parameters from the flight mission and other onboard sensors and video images.

Airframes and instrument bays are customizable to meet requirements of different scientific instruments and come with multiple pitot tube inlets.

Payload Interfaces: UART, RS485, RS232, CAN
Airframes – Composite carbon fibre and fibreglass construction
Communication via radio telemetry with a range of 100 km
Real-time data transmission, 256 bps
Iridium Satellite Link provides a back-up communication system
GPS Receiver
Laser Altimeter
Video Cameras
Pre-flight Hi-res Weather Forecast
Double-redundant balloon release system


  • Large ground array calibration/survey
  • Rocket launcher ‘weather sniffer’
  • High-altitude, total column in-situ weather data collection
  • Targeted ozonesonde data collection
  • Ground truth in the air sensor calibration/validation
  • Co-located sonic boom characterization
  • Aerosol measurement
  • Greenhouse gas and trace gas profiling
  • Water vapour measurement
    Ground Control Real-time Interface

    Campaign Support

From proposal writing support to sensor validation, or ground/satellite-based calibration to particulate sample collection, Stratodynamics collects data more cost-effectively than manned scientific aircraft and from remote locations that cannot be serviced any other way. Stratodynamics’ short lead-time to launch makes our platforms easily deployable from a variety of sites around the world.

Stratodynamics CEO, Gary Pundsack at the Canadian Space Agency Timmins Balloon Base with the HiDRON / gondola experimental launch. The payload was a airglow detector from the  Slovak Academy of Science’s Institute of Experimental Physics.

“We appreciate the flexibility, excellent customer support, professionalism and willingness of Stratodynamics during our campaign.”
Dr. Pavol Bobik, Director of the Slovak Academy of Science’s Institute of Experimental Physics