Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Global Aerospace Corporation Developing Concept for Global Constellations of Stratospheric Balloons

Global Constellation of Stratospheric Scientific Platforms
Altadena - March 19, 2001
Global Aerospace Corporation announced today that a decision has been made by the NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) to fund the second year of the Phase II contract to develop a revolutionary concept for networks of stratospheric balloons.

Constellations of superpressure balloons can help scientists and meteorologists study many major environmental and weather prediction problems. Tropical atmosphere circulation, global radiation balance, and polar ozone depletion could be studied from a global or regional network of instrumented balloons.

These networks could assist in pollution monitoring, weather and hurricane forecasting and tracking, and global circulation studies. As the cost of satellite operations continues to increase, the need for less expensive and more efficient in situ systems for some observations becomes more apparent.

Global Aerospace Corporation's concept involves a new type of stratospheric platform based on advanced balloon technology. This system, called the StratoSat(TM) platform, circles the Earth at a constant altitude of 35 km for 3 to 10 years (see figure 1). Constellations of StratoSat(TM) platforms would augment and complement many satellite measurements, and possibly even replace some environmental measurement satellites. The keys to implementing this new concept are (a) affordable, long-duration balloon systems, (b) balloon flight path control capability, (c) constellation geometry management, and (d) a global communications infrastructure.

In today's satellite era there has been a shift away from ground based conventional measuring systems to remote sensing from Earth orbiting spacecraft. National priorities emphasize the use of high technology space systems partly because measurements from ground based locations have been labor-intensive and expensive. However, high satellite launch costs necessitate higher satellite reliability, which increases the required investment in satellite systems. After forty years, a new, more affordable strategy is being considered.

An inexpensive and long-lived balloon network is now possible due to the advances in electronics, communications, and balloon technologies. Together, the inherent difficulty of making remote measurements from satellites, a new interest in simultaneous global measurements, and the high cost of space operations argue for a reevaluation of the current reliance on satellites for many global environmental measurements.

During the first year of Phase II, Global Aerospace Corporation developed a simulation capability to evaluate new constellation geometries related to hurricane monitoring and tracking. These new simulations indicate that with minimal balloon path modification, we can track and observe a hurricane. In addition, working with Princeton University, GAC has developed a new framework for constellation geometry management that utilizes organizational concepts from behavior of living creatures (flocks, schools, and pods).

In the upcoming second year of Phase II, Global Aerospace Corporation will continue to help scientists and researchers identify applications for global balloon constellations. GAC is also developing balloon and payload system concepts, designing advanced balloon flight path control systems, researching geometry management for global constellations, and investigating international overflight issues.

Related Links
Global Aerospace Corporation
Global Nalloon Networks
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

Pumpkins Fly At NASA
Wallops - November 15, 1999
High flying balloons carrying science experiments for up to 100 days are closer to becoming reality early in the next century thanks to advanced materials and a new design by researchers led by the Goddard's Wallops Flight Facility.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.