Man, that antenna is so thin it looks like it's painted on . It is painted on? Huh. These antennas are the main feature of high-alitude airships being designed as platforms for communication and surveillance. They can handle voice and data links that could be used for agricultural planning, disasters, and military situations.
The spherical airships fly way higher than the jet stream (and thus, commercial air flights) which also puts them out of harm's way for most ground-to-air missiles. A successful test was conducted in the deserts of Nevada last month, where voice and data links were routed through a SA-60 airship.
The primary missions for such a craft would likely be defense and security though maybe—just maybe—we could put lasers on them. Anybody?
[via Slashdot ]