LITTLE (ARTHUR D) INC CAMBRIDGE MA
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IN METEOROLOGICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL BALLOON APPLICATIONS, A HIGH DEGREE OF ROTATIONAL STABILITY ABOUT THE VERTICAL AXIS IS ESSENTIAL. Large plastic balloons in current use tend to experience large rotational motions in azimuth during ascent, descent, and even at ceiling. A study was conducted to examine possible causes of the rotational motion and to determine damping. Flow instability was found to be the principal source of rotational motion. Equations were obtained which govern the vertical motion of the balloon, the thermodynamics of the enclosed gas, and the heat transfer mechanisms between atmosphere, fabric and enclosed gas. The empirical constants involved were evaluated and a digital computer program was prepared for the solution of the equations.