Airship reaches 95,000 ft

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posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by ignorant_ape
reply to post by weirdguy
 

lastly - what payload is it going to support @ that altitude ???

sorry - but my opinion is this will only be of use as a cheap way to loft low mass instrument packages and imageing systems to the stratosphere

I agree. I had similar questions.

It can possibly be used as a launching pad for smaller crafts(Manned or Unmanned) to reach the space to deliver supplies and/or equipment or emergency astronauts.

The link in the OP does not indicate how much time it took for the Airship to reach the altitude and with what payload? If it reaches the altitude of 40 Kilometre in 5 minutes or an hour, it would still be cheaper to launch a small craft to space from that altitude for the intended purposes mentioned above.




posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by Aim64C
It would be, by my estimation, a much better idea to use a "flying fortress" of balloons to place a mid-way station.

With the proper ballast systems, you could lower the system (use stored solar power to compress some of the gasses from the float-balloons) and deliver supplies - perhaps landing in the ocean (a very low descent) - or accepting air-delivered supplies (very similar to how supplies are delivered by low-flying military aircraft) while still at 10-20 thousand feet.

From this station, you would base aerospace airframes designed to deliver supplies to orbiting entities or to send manned repair crews up to unmanned stations.


I like this idea as well.. always have. Mid air launch platforms at very high altitude would allow for less fuel to be used and horizontal take off instead of vertical. I have always wondered about the reasoning behind 8 minutes to orbit vertically rather than 24 hours to orbit horizontally (using specialized multi-stage launch & mid-air refueling)... but then I am no expert on these things.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by rogerstigers
 


For a while, I entertained the theory that special purpose and research platforms (such as Project BlackSwift) would be used to launch small recon and data-serving satellites into orbit on an as-needed basis in a manner that is far more difficult to detect and track than traditional IR-sensing satellites that detect the launch plume of rockets (and calculate trajectory from there - rendering "surprise" satellites nearly impossible).

For small package deliveries - this works.

But for something like fielding supplies to a space station (or entire orbiting industries - some things would be better manufactured in orbit or in a far more perfect vacuum than we can create), you'd want a mid-way station of some kind (or a space elevator... but this seems like it would be your interim between the two - though I have never been a large proponent of the space elevator concept).

The heinous amount of surface area this thing will have will also lend it well to ultralight solar panels (as well as its relative location above cloud cover and its "stay up" not dependent upon large amounts of power input - meaning night-time isn't a huge engineering nightmare).

Recycling of the buoyant gas between compressed and expanded states would conserve mass (and solar power will not be a problem to come across to manage these states). Modular construction improves redundancy and reliability with a nominal increase in mass (easily offset by increasing the number of modules). The entire application lends itself well to composite materials and polymer construction with little metal interfacing necessary (which will keep down on corrosion concerns and reduce weight).

You would simply go over storms, and not land in the middle of one (though navigation might be a bit of a challenge - not sure what 'wind' is like at the types of service altitudes we are discussing) - by comparison to fixed and rotary wings, the thing would have virtually no cause for alarm or emergency - the only issues being pressurized areas for living/working and what happens if that is lost (obviously, descent would be necessary - but conditions below may be hazardous... though stocking enough emergency supplies to out-last any plausible scenario is also quite possible).



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by weirdguy

Airship reaches 95,000 ft


www.skynews.com.au

DIY inventors have claimed a new altitude world record after flying a helium airship to more than 95,000ft.
We've spent about $30,000 ($A29,000) and the past five years developing Tandem.'
(visit the link for the full news article)


BIG BLACK delta!!

www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 8-11-2011 by popsmayhem because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by St Udio

www.youtube.com...


Man parachutes from 102, 800 feet



this was in 1960, but i recall other jumps, free falls in the late 1950s from the edge of Space


In 1960 Joe Kitinger jumped from a specialised helium balloon at just over 102, 800 feet. (approx 20 miles), he fell to Earth at the speed of sound but had no sensation of his speed...
edit on 8-11-2011 by St Udio because: (no reason given)


peep this:



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 03:22 PM
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How high up do you have to go before solar sails become effective? Would it be possible to go up high enough with a helium balloon to deploy a solar sail, and then glide out into space?

It would be cool to do away with chemical rockets altogether.

Also, I would love to see an unmanned helium balloon that could carry a portable observatory (sort of like hubble) at high altitudes as up that high there wouldn't be much atmospheric aberration, and on a balloon it would be easy to come back down to earth for maintenance and upgrades.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by purplemer
It would be nice if they used airships for travel more, instead of planes all the time...


why??


they are slower, more vulnerable to weather, carry less, I suspect they use more gas (lots of drag, slower speeds = longer transit time = more fuel required??), harder to base (need big hangers, mooring masts, etc)

In fact there are almost no economic reasons to prefer them for regular service - they have some niche markets for sure, but that's all.
edit on 8-11-2011 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by Curious and Concerned
 


Thanks for that PDF....I plan on reading it when I've got a chance. I'm quite interested in their 'electric propulsion'. If they mean like a 'Lifter' which uses high voltage electrostatic to create an Ionic wind then I'm curious as how it's supposed to work when the atmosphere is so thin, as most scientists suggest such crafts need to ionize the air around them to create thrust. Or perhaps they have discovered a new way entirely? Some sort of Electro-gravitic 'anti-gravity' technology perhaps? (then again if they had that, I doubt they'd bother with the whole balloon bit!)



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by Curious and Concerned

Originally posted by ignorant_ape
reply to post by Flyinghaggis
 


i dont care wether you agree or not - but please tell us how this tech would get a 10000kg payload to 42 km ?

I did some quick calculations using the data here for air at 40,000m (131,000 ft). I assumed that the pressure inside the balloon was equal to that of the air outside the balloon, and assumed that the helium mass could be approximated using the ideal gas law (using R values from the textbook "Fundamentals of Thermal-Fluid Sciences"). I ignored the mass of the balloon itself, and the mass of the structure, so these values I get are rather conservative. I tried to estimate the size of the balloons required for a tandem balloon airship to support 100,000 kg at 40,000m.

I assumed the shape of the balloons to be spherical, which has the least surface area compared to it's overall dimension for any shape. Any other shape would increase the amount of balloon required, hence increase over all mass.

I calculated that each of the 2 balloons would need to have a diameter of approximately 302.5 metres. Bearing in mind that this did not take into account the mass of the balloons or the support structure which would have to be at least as long as 302.5 metres to support the balloons. This added mass would make the balloons even larger.

Given that these are conservative estimates, these would have to be some serious balloons to handle winds and severe weather whilst reaching those heights. These calculations are pretty rough, and I can show working if anyone wants it. I might even write some simple MATLAB code to calculate the required volume of balloon, and try to take into account things like mass of balloon and structure. But it's past my bedtime and I shall go to bed now.



Edit to add: silly me, I used a payload of 100,000 kg instead of 10,000kg as you had stated.
I think that's a sign I need to go to bed now.
edit on 8/11/11 by Curious and Concerned because: see above

Heating the helium would give the craft the ability to lift even more.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by Flyinghaggis
reply to post by weirdguy
 


A triumph for alternative thinking, it is so simple and cheap !

NASA you're fired.



if the military was involved it would cost 3 billion to develop and northorp grumman would be selling it to the u.s. air force at 30 million a pop.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by weirdguy
reply to post by Curious and Concerned
 


Cool! Does this mean that we only need 30 meter balloons to lift 10,000kg ?

Unfortunately not. There is not a linear relationship between payload capability and balloon radius. Using bouyancy theory, the mass of the air displaced must equal the mass of the airship for it to be static at 40,000m. The volume of a balloon estimated as a sphere is given by volume = 4/3*pi*raidus^3. So rearranging to get the radius you get radius = (volume*3/(4*pi))^(1/3).

I'm no programmer, but I made a simple script that calculates the volume of balloon required to lift a given payload, then calculates the mass of helium inside the balloon (using ideal gas law), then adds this mass to the payload and runs another iteration. I also estimated the weight of a support truss based on a truss on their site which claims at 1000 ft long it is 20 lbs. Or in real units (
), a 30.48m truss is 9.072kg, which gives a mass per metre of 0.2976 kg. This ended up being pretty negligible in mass calculations, but for a ship this size they'd probably need a stronger truss. I'm unsure on how to calculate the mass of the balloon, so have not taken this into account. The balloon diameter could probably be calculated with simultaneous equations, but 10 iterations gives a pretty accurate estimation.

Running the script with a payload of 10,000kg and assumed helium temperature of ambient air temperature, the required diameter of each of the 2 balloons is still 140 metres. This is still a very significant balloon.


Originally posted by earthdude
Heating the helium would give the craft the ability to lift even more.

Indeed it would, although it doesn't seem to make a huge difference, as the mass of the helium is considerably less than the 10000 kg payload, even if it's at the ambient temperature at 40,000m of -22 degrees celcius. If you heated the gas to 100 degrees C, the diameter reduces to 138.2 metres. If you heated it further to 1000 degrees, the diameter is 135.1m.

As I said, I'm no programmer and my script may not be too accurate. I can post it if anyone wants to see it. Cheers
edit on 8/11/11 by Curious and Concerned because: clarify



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by bhornbuckle75
reply to post by Curious and Concerned
 


Thanks for that PDF....I plan on reading it when I've got a chance. I'm quite interested in their 'electric propulsion'. If they mean like a 'Lifter' which uses high voltage electrostatic to create an Ionic wind then I'm curious as how it's supposed to work when the atmosphere is so thin, as most scientists suggest such crafts need to ionize the air around them to create thrust. Or perhaps they have discovered a new way entirely? Some sort of Electro-gravitic 'anti-gravity' technology perhaps? (then again if they had that, I doubt they'd bother with the whole balloon bit!)

I'm pretty sure their "electric propulsion" systems are merely propellers designed to operate at high altitudes, powered by electricity. Although I must say, your suggestions sound far cooler



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 10:47 PM
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This is cool and all, but the rockets NASA currently uses are designed to produce enough thrust to get tons of weight off of the ground and into space. I just cannot picture these balloons lifting all that much weight to a height of 140,000 feet...Or even 95,000 feet for that matter. It would take an exorbitant amount of balloons to provide the necessary lifting force to overcome that pain in the butt force known as gravity.

I am no engineer so I cannot say for certain, but common sense dictates that I am probably correct. I'm sure they have thought of this, but I just think the capabilities of these crafts will be limited. Using this design to take people into the lower reaches of space does seem like a very practical idea however, and I am all for that.

That would be one scary ride though in my opinion. Maybe this will launch a new trend of building space "parts" out of extra-super-light composite materials, in an attempt to reduce the weight of everything that is going into space drastically. They may have done that already, as it seems like a practical way to go, considering that it probably costs about $1000 per pound to take something into orbit. I think I read that somewhere but don't quote me on it.

So ya, overall this is really cool, but I am not yet convinced that it has all of the capabilities that would be necessary to build an entire space program from the idea.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 11:46 PM
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Firstly, the Airship to Orbit concept is more fully detailed in the book "Floating To Space" by John Powell, President of JP Aerospace, the company that built and flew the Tandem.

The Tandem flown as a "proof of concept" vehicle, and even as such, out-performed the military's Hi/Sentinel prototype which cost several millions of dollars and years of development, and then only flew to 75,000FT.

Secondly, the "electric propulsion" refered to in the article is a form of ion thruster, based on a modified MHD (magnetohydrodynamic) engine. The full scale airship would use a series of such engines to achevieve orbit upon departure from the permenently airborne "Dark Sky Station".

The actual shape of the gas envelopes, as envisioned for the V-ships, is not spherical, but more of an oval in cross-section; think of a somewhat fattened "wing" shape. In many ways the Ascender pictured was also a low altitude prototype of the future Airships (although, for economic purposes, the Ascender-series used a simplified circular cross-section, cylindrical lifting cell design).


Yes, given the enormous surface area avaible on such a craft, it is envisioned that much of the upper surface would be used for photovoltaic cells; these will be used to provide main power to the MHD units.


As to the problem of drag, yes, one must acknowledge that it is a significant challenge.


However, one approach being studied is to use the high static electrical charge generated by the surface fabric to create a sort of "plasma boundary layer" around the craft to smooth out the air flow about the craft reducing the drag; perhaps to even channel that flow into an additional form of forward thrust.

Another possibility is to minimize the drag by using hard surfaces on the leading edges of the vehicle, or even utilizing electro-reactive materials for the "skin"; materials which stiffen when subjected to an electric charge.

A non-flexible skin reduces the ability of the lifting cells to expand ans external air pressure drops, lowering the lift available, but it is believed that the loss can be compensated for by employing the lift generated by the craft's inherent aerodynamic design (as compared to other airship platforms) and active thrust from the engines.


By the way, I worked on the airship in the previously posted picture.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 11:56 PM
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reply to post by Curious and Concerned
 


The electric propellers (based on the propeller design developed by NASA for use on the HELIOS solar-powered aircraft) were used on the Tandem solely to show that an airship could not only be flown to an extremely high altitude, but could also be Flown at that altitude.

Mere balloons can fly to astonishing heights (and can loft tons of equipment to those heights) but it was beleived that they could never be flown at those heights; they were assumed to be forever at the mercy of the winds.

Tandem disproved that assumption. Quite handily.


If you can capture the "High Ground" and effectively patrol it, no matter what direction the wind is blowing, you have the tactical advantage.



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 01:12 AM
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Thanks for everyones input on this topic.

My only problem is that everyones opinions sound valid to me
and now I am more confused than before I started this thread.
I guess only time will tell where this goes.

If we could harness the ability to float personel, supplies or even satellites and probes
upto a floating platform and send them on their way from there would be a huge step
forward I think.

Could we tether a satellite to the platform on the edge of space and run a cable car type
elevator? I remember reading something about a space elevator once.

Are we doomed to use chemicals to get us into space until we find the
anti gravity golden egg?

Or perhaps we will find an alternative such as a simple balloon concept.
Like producing power, we now use old school windmills to generate free energy from the wind.



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 01:25 AM
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reply to post by Bhadhidar
 


Wow, so you have worked on this project? That's cool!

Has the big V shaped airship ever flown?

I remember reports of big V shaped ufo's and was wondering if you
are the culprit


Do you think this tech being developed will ever help to get us into space,
even if its only most of the way there?



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 01:41 AM
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reply to post by Curious and Concerned
 


Yep, they be some Dolly Parton sized balloons, but the platform it's ment to dock with is
also huge.
I don't know what that stuff you wrote means but it sure looks cool


Seriously though good work dude dont sell yourself short.

Thanks for your effort


And yes please post your findings that would be great
edit on 9-11-2011 by weirdguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 01:51 AM
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Originally posted by monkofmimir
I love it!

If this is viable it makes Nasa's chemical rockets look a bit silly.

This just goes to show there are often less brute force solutions to life.

and lets just face it airships are cool


Chemical rockets are not needed to go to space, they are used to get extremely large payloads into space. Show me the evidence these can get the same payloads into space.



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 04:44 AM
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Originally posted by Curious and Concerned

Originally posted by bhornbuckle75
reply to post by Curious and Concerned
 


Thanks for that PDF....I plan on reading it when I've got a chance. I'm quite interested in their 'electric propulsion'. If they mean like a 'Lifter' which uses high voltage electrostatic to create an Ionic wind then I'm curious as how it's supposed to work when the atmosphere is so thin, as most scientists suggest such crafts need to ionize the air around them to create thrust. Or perhaps they have discovered a new way entirely? Some sort of Electro-gravitic 'anti-gravity' technology perhaps? (then again if they had that, I doubt they'd bother with the whole balloon bit!)

I'm pretty sure their "electric propulsion" systems are merely propellers designed to operate at high altitudes, powered by electricity. Although I must say, your suggestions sound far cooler


Eh, I'm always imagining things are gonna be far cooler than they actually are...The Real World is always letting me down in that aspect!!!





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