Aerostar Awarded Prime Contract for Stratospheric Balloon Systems & Services


An electronics and engineering team from Aerostar launches a high altitude balloon from Andoya Air Station to sense a simulated target in the Norwegian Sea during the Thunder Cloud live-fire exercise in Andoya, Norway, Sept. 15, 2021. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Aerostar to Provide Robust High-Altitude Capabilities That Meet Department of Defense Operational Needs

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (November 22, 2021)Raven Industries, Inc. (the Company; NASDAQ:RAVN) announced today that Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has awarded a contract to Aerostar Technical Solutions, Inc. (Raven Aerostar) to provide robust high-altitude capabilities for the U.S. Department of Defense. DIU is focused on exclusively fielding and scaling commercial technology for use across the U.S. military. Through a variety of service-driven prototyping and field utility demonstration efforts, Raven Aerostar will demonstrate the utility of stratospheric balloons for a variety of DoD operational needs. The prototype project will begin with the integration of prototype communication nodes onto Raven Aerostar’s Thunderhead Balloon Systems to demonstrate connectivity to the warfighter at the edge. Additional flight tests will provide integrated payloads for airborne data collection. Through this project, DIU will evaluate Raven Aerostar’s stratospheric technology for transition to live military field operations.

“Our Thunderhead Balloons can be tailored to solve critical national security challenges,” said Jim Nelson, Division Manager of Raven Aerostar. “As the technology continues to prove its value, this contract will serve as a vehicle for Raven Aerostar to support future prototype activities across the Department of Defense and the government more broadly.”

Driven by mission and flight objectives, Raven Aerostar’s Thunderhead Balloon Systems are equipped with multiple sensors, payloads, and other technologies during stratospheric flight. Their ability to carry a variety of technologies provides the DoD with the opportunity to leverage large collections of data, ultimately enabling the warfighter to develop a more complete operating picture and apply effects to the battlefield. This effort seeks to build situational awareness with communications and earth observing technologies.

In addition to their use in the defense sector, Thunderhead Balloon Systems can be configured for scientific research and commercial applications and can be flown from austere environments with an assortment of sensors and payloads. The systems can persist over areas of interest for extended periods of time and be configured to navigate over long distances as defined by mission requirements.

About Raven Industries, Inc.

Raven Industries (NASDAQ: RAVN) provides innovative, high-value products and systems that solve great challenges throughout the world. Raven is a leader in precision agriculture, high-performance specialty films, and aerospace and defense solutions, and the company’s groundbreaking work in autonomous systems is unlocking new possibilities in areas like farming, national defense, and scientific research. Since 1956, Raven has designed, produced, and delivered exceptional solutions, earning the company a reputation for innovation, product quality, and unmatched service. For more information, visit

About Raven Aerostar

Raven Aerostar consists of wholly-owned subsidiaries Aerostar International, Inc. and Aerostar Technical Solutions, Inc. Dedicated to connecting, protecting and saving lives through its work as an Aerospace & Defense provider, Raven Aerostar’s core product offerings include stratospheric platforms, radar and perception sensors, technical services, tethered aerostats, and protective wear. From engineering services to mission planning and support, research and design, and the development of advanced technical products — Raven Aerostar offers tailored turnkey solutions for a multitude of successful operations. Visit for more information.

Contact Information

Lisa McElrath
Corporate Communications Manager
+1 (605) 336-2750