3DR Superpressure Balloon for Development of In-Situ Environmental Sensors
In-situ measurement of meteorological, atmospheric chemistry, and oceanic parameters for regional models would aid greatly in the understanding of critical processes and provide the necessary data for national policy decisions on significant environmental issues. three Dimensional Reinforced (3DR) membranes have the ability to offer a dramatic reduction in the required envelope mass for balloons designed for long duration platforms which will reduce the volume while significantly increasing both payload and duration capabilities. The application of this space technology provides an innovative method of using a combination of films and fibers for locally reinforcing a balloon envelope based on its specific design requirements. In Phase 1, 3DR was evaluated for its applicability to meeting the requirements of NOAA's GAINS program. Results showed that envelope volumes could be reduced by 25-33% resulting in a 33-43% reduction in envelope mass. The Phase 2 goal is to provide empirical validation to 3DR's potential for practical application and commercialization of terrestrial balloon platforms. The Phase 2 technical objectives include validating the 3DR design and material selection methods, and reducing the experimental fabrication procedures to acceptable production processes. This will be accomplished through the development and testing of a commercially viable wind tracer balloon.
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P.O. Box 909 Tillamook, OR 97141
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