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BALLOON ASCENT IMPROVEMENT DEVICE.
Final rept. 1 Jul 66-31 Jul 68,
MSA RESEARCH CORP EVANS CITY PA
Pagination or Media Count:
A program was conducted to develop a chemical device for sounding balloons which would produce heat and hydrogen to increase their lifting force during flight and thereby increase their ascent rate. Principal attention was directed to a solid system employing the reaction between silicon and sodium hydroxide. A self-sustaining pyrotechnic device was designed around this device which fitted into the neck of the balloon. Although prototype units performed adequately in the plant laboratory and in tethered balloon tests, performance at night was either poor or inconclusive. At the end of the program, an alternate approach was considered, employing a calcium hydride-water reaction. One model was tested at USAECOM at the ground under simulated flight conditions and provided a substantial increase in heat during its operation. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE