A SURVEY OF METHODS FOR CONTROLLING THE ALTITUDE OF FREE BALLOONS WITH AIR BALLAST SYSTEMS.
VITRO LABS SILVER SPRING MD SILVER SPRING LAB
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The report reviews background literature describing various concepts for using air to ballast a balloon system. A variety of air ballast concepts have been documented, but few flight operations using these systems have been reported. Air ballast concepts were grouped into three categories and analytical expressions were developed to describe the design characteristics and performance of each type system. The dominant factor affecting altitude control of a balloon system is shown to be balloon gas superheat which varies with atmospheric conditions and different balloon fabrics. It is the conclusion of this report that air ballast systems are technically feasible, and that simple non-powered sealed gas container systems will compete favorably from an economic viewpoint with conventional balloon and ballast systems on long duration flights. Further development of air ballast systems for altitude control of balloons is recommended. Author
- Lighter-than-air Aircraft