Geospatial Research Seminar Series (GRISS) – 26 November 2021

Reaching the Stratosphere and Beyond



Dr. Philipp Sueltrop, CTO Kea Aerospace

The Geospatial Research Institute is pleased to host Dr. Philipp Sueltrop.


Philipp is the Chief Technology Officer of the Christchurch-based company Kea Aerospace. Besides leading the technical development team of the unmanned solar-powered aircraft Kea Atmos, he considers himself as a technology explorer combining his passion for aerospace engineering that can provide the means for advantageous scientific, civil and commercial contributions. In late 2014 Philipp moved to New Zealand from Germany, and finished his PhD in rocket flight mechanics and control at UC in 2019. He has designed and launched a wide variety of unmanned aerospace systems from high-altitude balloons, sounding rockets to different types of unmanned aircraft.


Kea Aerospace

Our world is changing fast. Thus, data and derived intelligence have become the world’s most valuable resource.
Kea Aerospace is developing the Kea Atmos, the largest unmanned aircraft in the Southern Hemisphere in order to harvest aerial data from the Stratosphere flying at around 20km altitude. With a wingspan of over 30m and fully covered in solar panels the Kea Atmos will be able to operate for weeks without landing – purely on clean energy.

A fleet of Kea Atmos will be continuously operating and carrying different payloads from high-resolution multi-spectral cameras to synthetic aperture radars and atmospheric sensors. Flying in the Stratosphere Kea Aerospace will operate in a sweet spot for data collection. Kea’s remote sensing data will have much better image resolutions than satellites, while Kea Atmos aircraft can further operate extremely flexibly. This will allow Kea Aerospace to fill significant data gaps and enable better decision-making in areas like environmental monitoring, maritime surveillance, precision agriculture, smart city projects and disaster management.


Friday 26 November 2021
Room 111 Beatrice Tinsley Building or Online via Zoom

  • Networking lunch:  12:30-13:00
  • Seminar:   13:00-14:00


All are welcome!



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