Sensor System for Super-Pressure Balloon Performance Modeling
Long-duration balloon flights are an exciting new area of scientific ballooning, enabled by the development of large super-pressure balloons. As these balloons represent a new form of balloon technology, it follows that there is much to be learned about how these balloons behave in flight. There is a need to collect data on the balloon platform itself in order to better characterize its in-flight behavior.
A lightweight suite of sensors will be developed to quantify several variables affecting the balloon. The measurements will include gas temperature inside and outside of the balloon, balloon film strain and temperature, and the aging of the balloon film.
Phase I will involve developing a gas temperature sensing approach, a film strain and aging sensing approach, and an alternate approach to film strain and temperature measurements. Taken as a group, the approaches to be investigated are seen as likely to offer promising solutions to those measurement challenges. They will be tested in the laboratory and in a balloon on the ground.
The ultimate result of the project will be a sensor suite that allows super-pressure balloon behavior and flights to be accurately modeled.
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106 Pronghorn Trail Bozeman, MT 59718
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