Aerostats are the industrial versions of blimps and dirigibles. The airborne portion, or ?envelope?, uses helium gas to stay aloft, and is connected to a stationary ground system with a tether containing integrated optical fiber and power conductors. Aerostats have been deployed for decades to lift monitoring and communications systems in some of the harshest environments in the world. Today, aerostats depend on a full-time ground crew for safe operation, which limits their use to high cost military and government applications. Altaeros has set out to change this, eliminating the need for a ground crew and opening up aerostats to widespread commercial use. Altaeros builds upon decades of aerostat industry experience and field operations to ensure the safe, reliable operation of its aerial platforms. A novel flight control system automatically manages the ascent, station-keeping and descent operations, and secures the aerostat on its ground station during severe weather.