HIGH-ALTITUDE TETHERED BALLOON SYSTEMS STUDY. SCHEDULE SUB-LINE ITEM IAA.
Task rept. no. 1,
GOODYEAR AEROSPACE CORP AKRON OHIO
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Various tethered balloon systems were investigated to determine what combination of balloons and cables has the greatest potential for high-altitude tethering. Aerodynamic characteristics, stress, weight, and other design factors were evaluated for five different balloon shapes. Cable profile parameters were evaluated considering weight, cross section area, and breaking strength of the three cable types. Data are presented in graphic form which relates balloon quantities to cable profile quantities for operation in winter and summer at two different geographic locations and float altitudes of 50,000 and 100,000 feet. Results show that balloons can be tethered at altitudes above 50,000 feet, but that no one system is best for all wind and altitude conditions. Round or natural shape balloons provide better performance in light winds at high altitudes, whereas aerodynamically shaped balloons provide better performance in high winds at intermediate altitudes. Cables made of glass fibers and epoxy resin provide better overall performance for all wind and altitude conditions investigated than either nylon or steel. In a few cases where net lift at the top of the cable is very small, steel wire appears to be better. Author
- Lighter-than-air Aircraft