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NASA High Altitude Airship competition

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posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 01:15 PM
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originally posted by: Blackfinger
That or put money into JP Aerospace..
Ascender Airship


Interesting you bring that up. What have they been up to lately? They seem to be the right people equipped for the task,
I'll send them a link to the competition if they haven't seen it yet.




posted on Apr, 1 2016 @ 07:22 AM
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originally posted by: JohnSmith77

originally posted by: Blackfinger
That or put money into JP Aerospace..
Ascender Airship


Interesting you bring that up. What have they been up to lately? They seem to be the right people equipped for the task,
I'll send them a link to the competition if they haven't seen it yet.



You can bet they've seen it.

In fact, if I know Mr. Powell (the President of JPA), he/they probably had a hand in organizing this competition!

It's like the C.A.T.S. (Cheap Access To Space) Prize all over again.

JPA was working on a rockoon-based high-powered hobby class (think Estes rocket on serious, industrial-grade steroids) launch system well before CATS was announced; several years before anyone actually made an attempt.

You know, if JPA and say, a company like Alphabet were to get together.....!!!!



posted on Apr, 2 2016 @ 05:19 AM
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originally posted by: Bhadhidar

originally posted by: JohnSmith77

originally posted by: Blackfinger
That or put money into JP Aerospace..
Ascender Airship


Interesting you bring that up. What have they been up to lately? They seem to be the right people equipped for the task,
I'll send them a link to the competition if they haven't seen it yet.



You can bet they've seen it.

In fact, if I know Mr. Powell (the President of JPA), he/they probably had a hand in organizing this competition!

It's like the C.A.T.S. (Cheap Access To Space) Prize all over again.

JPA was working on a rockoon-based high-powered hobby class (think Estes rocket on serious, industrial-grade steroids) launch system well before CATS was announced; several years before anyone actually made an attempt.

You know, if JPA and say, a company like Alphabet were to get together.....!!!!



Overall It's quite exciting to see the developments of their new Ascender. The JPA is a great- alternative and people's friendly company. (Al though they should update their outdated site and make some epic YouTube video's- that's how you create attention, like SpaceX does.)

High altitude blimps have so many possible uses and they are much cheaper. One of the great things about them also is that you can simply use hydrogen since at that height they form no danger.



posted on Apr, 2 2016 @ 02:04 PM
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a reply to: JohnSmith77

Its times like these I wish I could draw a decent picture and up load it for others to see. So I guess a description will have to do.

Imagine: Several "gas bags" aligned one beside the other and covered to form a large thick wing. A top this will be several large solar panels to generate electrical power. Along the front and rear of this wing would be panels of a conductive material, likely in the form of a film to save weight.

The bags would be filled with helium and the craft would be lifted up. As it begins its ascent, the front and rear plate would be energized with current of opposite polarities which will make the craft move forward. Of course, control surfaces will be used for steering as it continues to rise and move into its desired location. The wing shape, enhanced by it buoyancy, should aid it in staying aloft and on station for very long periods of time.The electric charges on the plates, along with the control surfaces, will also aid in this while eliminating fuel.

To descend, it would slowly release its helium and steer back to its home base; using the charged panels to propel any adjustments needed.

The payload requirements should be easily met with in the design of such a craft and any scaling should not be a factor.



posted on Apr, 2 2016 @ 02:14 PM
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originally posted by: tinymind
a reply to: JohnSmith77

Its times like these I wish I could draw a decent picture and up load it for others to see. So I guess a description will have to do.

Imagine: Several "gas bags" aligned one beside the other and covered to form a large thick wing. A top this will be several large solar panels to generate electrical power. Along the front and rear of this wing would be panels of a conductive material, likely in the form of a film to save weight.

The bags would be filled with helium and the craft would be lifted up. As it begins its ascent, the front and rear plate would be energized with current of opposite polarities which will make the craft move forward. Of course, control surfaces will be used for steering as it continues to rise and move into its desired location. The wing shape, enhanced by it buoyancy, should aid it in staying aloft and on station for very long periods of time.The electric charges on the plates, along with the control surfaces, will also aid in this while eliminating fuel.

To descend, it would slowly release its helium and steer back to its home base; using the charged panels to propel any adjustments needed.

The payload requirements should be easily met with in the design of such a craft and any scaling should not be a factor.


I'm trying to imagine in my head the design you are describing. You said, "that the front and rear plate would be energized with current of opposite polarities which will make the craft move forward." Could you explain this concept a bit further? I'm not exactly understanding it.

For solar panels I would advice thin solar film to save the weight and for the flexibility. Also, releasing the helium into the atmosphere seems a bit of a waste- since helium is quite expensive. If there's no organism on board, I advise to use hydrogen, which is much cheaper. High altitude balloons do often use hydrogen instead of helium.

Then there is the problem of winds- since there are no propellers it would make it hard to control. But if it's for high altitudes only it should be manageable. But to my current knowledge, I think there are simpler, existing designs out there for high altitude blimps. Either way, +1 to your creativity.



posted on Apr, 2 2016 @ 02:53 PM
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a reply to: JohnSmith77

In regards to the electro-static plates.
There has been a lot done with such propulsion devices over the years and they are in use in a few applications already.
As to the use of helium over hydrogen; with the electro-static plates, a charge can be expected to accumulate over the skin of the craft, making the use of hydrogen risky too say the least.
With the proper proportional shaping of the wing design and its control surfaces, the wind could actually be a plus factor. The craft could "surf" the winds much like a sailboat and further save on propulsion.



posted on Apr, 2 2016 @ 03:08 PM
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MARS! Clearly they (NASA) are doing this as a pre-prototype for a long term aerial probe for a Mars mission, or maybe they just want something that can be used to better monitor global climate change. Either way, I'd love to get a team together for this competition.
edit on 2-4-2016 by Guyfriday because: Removed a wierd typo



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 12:58 PM
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a reply to: Guyfriday

Mars, or Venus?

airshipcenter.com...



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 06:24 PM
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Probably not Venus..



The climate on Venus is widely known to be unpleasant -- at the surface, the planet roasts at more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit under a suffocating blanket of sulfuric acid clouds and a crushing atmosphere more than 90 times the pressure of Earth's.



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

I made a thread about it a while back. The conditions in the Venetian upper atmosphere is rather Earth like.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 07:55 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

Venus is a fascinating planet that gets far, far less attention than it actually deserves. I remember reading analyses in the past postulating that terraforming Venus is actually a far, far more realistic idea than terraforming Mars, especially since you could build floating cloud cities in the earthlike upper atmosphere while you do it.



posted on Apr, 5 2016 @ 08:57 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

I'd wager to say that development of airships, that can stay aloft in the upper atmospheres of alien planets, is a better use the limited funds NASA has for manned missions due to the fact that it could be used in many more locations than Venus. Imagine an airship floating around Jupiter, Saturn, or Titan.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 08:30 AM
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originally posted by: Sammamishman
a reply to: Barnalby

I'd wager to say that development of airships, that can stay aloft in the upper atmospheres of alien planets, is a better use the limited funds NASA has for manned missions due to the fact that it could be used in many more locations than Venus. Imagine an airship floating around Jupiter, Saturn, or Titan.


We could research so much if NASA were given some more funds.
However, you always have the people who don't see it as a priority
But compared to other things, such as the military, NASA gets very little.
However, with China evermore becoming the next competing superpower against the US, and China
has lots of interest in space exploration.
NASA might receive more if we enter another space race between the US and China.



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