[Space] Good balloon data

deleted arbzed at gmail.com
Tue Jan 12 18:23:06 UTC 2010

I've thought about this a lot.  A pressure-actuated valve could definitely
improve you flight time and altitude.  The trouble with a slow descent is
that it's hard to predict how long the probe will take to descend / where
it's going to go.  If it doesn't burst, it could stay up a very long time,
which makes it harder to retrieve.  Ultimately, your limiting constraint is
battery life.

Something that might work is a retrieval system on an independent power
circuit from the main tracking system that operates on reserve batteries
which aren't switched on until the package drops below a particular ceiling
(assuming the flight computer still has enough juice left to detect
the altitude threshold and activate the retrieval system).

Are you really considering skyhooking?  That sounds incredibly difficult and
dangerous.  I like it!


On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 6:56 PM, Christie Dudley <longobord at gmail.com>wrote:

> 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.
> Christie
> _______
> 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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