Accession Number : ADA610783


Title :   Environmental Assessment, Balloon Launch and Landing Operations, Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico


Corporate Author : CH2M HILL WORLD HEADQUARTERS ENGLEWOOD CO


Personal Author(s) : Lilienbecker, Karin ; Bennett, Mark ; Jarocki, Karen ; Black, Lyna ; Petersen, Julie ; Rau, Michelle ; Zhuang, Hong ; Lawson, Natalie ; Brandt, Celeste


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a610783.pdf


Report Date : Jun 2012


Pagination or Media Count : 349


Abstract : The mission of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)/Space Vehicles Directorate (RV), stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB), New Mexico, is to provide the Air Force, Department of Defense (DoD), their contractors, and other federal agencies with near-space access for research and development (R&D). Under the Proposed Action, AFRL/RV would collect high-altitude data (65,000 feet or greater) needed to support programs critical to the long-term defense and military readiness of the United States. This information would be used to enhance the technologies needed to characterize the stratospheric environment, improve over-the-horizon communications capabilities, and develop technologies for DoD-related stratospheric and space-based systems. Selection criterion (EA 2.1) was used to identify the range of reasonable alternatives which could meet AFRL/RV underlying purpose and need. This criterion focused on two areas: platform requirements and launch and landing locations. In order to collect the atmospheric data, the platform had to (1) allow the research vessel to reach and loiter at altitudes greater than 65,000 feet; (2) be able to carry up to 7,000 pounds of payload; (3) be re-useable for other flight testing missions; (4) keep average costs under $1 million per flight operation; (4) allow for a wide range of operations and flight configurations; and (5) be readily available for flights within three months of initial planning. The launch and landing locations had to be within a 10-hour drive from Kirtland AFB and could only occur during clear, atmospheric conditions with less than 50 percent cloud cover and low surface winds.


Descriptors :   *BALLOONS , *ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT , *LAUNCHING , *SPACE COMMUNICATIONS , ACCESS , AIR FORCE , AIR FORCE FACILITIES , AIR FORCE RESEARCH , ALTITUDE , CLOUD COVER , COMMUNICATION AND RADIO SYSTEMS , CONFIGURATIONS , CONTRACTORS , COSTS , DEFENSE SYSTEMS , ENVIRONMENTS , FLIGHT , FLIGHT TESTING , LABORATORIES , LANDING , METEOROLOGICAL DATA , MISSIONS , NEW MEXICO , OVER THE HORIZON DETECTION , PLANNING , POSITION(LOCATION) , RANGE(EXTREMES) , RESEARCH SHIPS , SELECTION , SPACE BASED , SPACECRAFT , STRATOSPHERE , UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , WIND


Subject Categories : Lighter-than-air Aircraft


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE