[Space] Good balloon data

Christie Dudley longobord at gmail.com
Tue Jan 12 02:56:56 UTC 2010

So I was cruising the ham-high altitude balloon sites and came across a list
of recommended manufacturers for balloons.  It occurred to me that once we
get this into "production" mode, we might want to talk about buying these
things in bulk, etc. so I thought I'd check them out.

The first manufacturer I was looking at had all sorts of useful information
on their different balloon models.  The last 3 struck me as stuff that we
were talking about empirically determining.  It makes oh so much more sense
for us to take these on spec.  Considering, for example, this manufacturer
offered 4 different models had different values for each of these.  The ones
that jumped out at me:

Diameter at Burst (cm) - Bursting Altitude (km) - Bursting Pressure (hPa)

It struck me that if we knew what the bursting pressure should be, we could
conceivably find a valve that would do a limited release  once it neared
bursting pressure so the balloon doesn't burst.  If it doesn't burst, just
loses buoyancy, then it should just start slowly sinking and more gently
come back down, making it easier to skyhook, and overall reducing the
velocity of the descent, independent of parachutes and other measures, not
to mention making the balloon itself potentially reusable.  Just a thought.


Getting to the bottom of the hill is convenient. The view from the top of
the hill is stunning. Where would you choose to live?
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