Community > Forum > Technology & Science > Balloon platforms

Balloon platforms

Posted by: Electrolyte - Wed Sep 01, 2004 3:01 am
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 13 posts ] 
Balloon platforms 
Author Message
Spaceflight Participant
Spaceflight Participant
User avatar
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 1:42 pm
Posts: 94
Post Balloon platforms   Posted on: Wed Sep 01, 2004 3:01 am
There's two attempts I know of that utilize balloons to get the ship halfway there. Da vinci's method, heating air in the balloon to lift the ship up, and another method using helium to make a floating platform for what I assume are staged launches. What I wonder about is whether you can't combine these two into a third approach.

One where you would make a very large balloon into a floating platform of sorts that does not contain helium or hydrogen but rather just air, trapping heat from the sun's rays inside the balloon to keep the air hot. If it is indeed possible to trap the heat that efficiently with today's technology I would think that this would be cheaper in the long run than using helium to maintain the altitude because if it starts leaking air you can just pump more in from outside the balloon.

Would that work?


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:01 am
Posts: 747
Location: New Zealand
Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:45 am
It's a pity that everybody it so freaked out about using Hydrogen since the Hindenberg. The Hindenberg didn't even go down because of the Hydrogen.

For long term or reusable balloons Helium is better as it is easier to contain, but for lifting stuff quickly with a "disposable" ballon Hydrogen has got to be better.

Except for the BANG as your rocket goes through/past it. :/

_________________
What goes up better doggone well stay up! - Morgan Gravitronics, Company Slogan.


Back to top
Profile ICQ YIM
Spaceflight Participant
Spaceflight Participant
User avatar
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 1:42 pm
Posts: 94
Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 01, 2004 7:54 pm
I guess I always figured the hydrogen was at least partially to blame. So what did cause the Hindenberg to go down?


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
User avatar
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:22 pm
Posts: 843
Location: New York, NY
Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:49 pm
Electrolyte wrote:
I guess I always figured the hydrogen was at least partially to blame. So what did cause the Hindenberg to go down?


i've always thought so as well, but if it's not, then i'd guess the fact that it was ruptured by the wires it hit would've been enough to make it go down: the hydrogen just had the added bonus of causing a fire that killed virtually everyone in it.

_________________
Cornell 2010- Applied and Engineering Physics

Software Developer

Also, check out my fractals


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:01 am
Posts: 747
Location: New Zealand
Post    Posted on: Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:07 am
In the 80's Nasa did the research and discovered it was actually the "protective paint" that start the fire, hence the massive amounts of black smoke etc.

The coating was the only new part of the Hindenberg design at the time. Hundreds of Hydrogen based Zeppelins were hauling all over the show at the time without incident, truly demonstrating German saftey in engineering.

Its just a pity the research came so late. Hydrogen goes boom is fairly well ingrained in our psyche now.

Using Nitrogen or Air would nessecitate making your ballon a lot larger.

_________________
What goes up better doggone well stay up! - Morgan Gravitronics, Company Slogan.


Back to top
Profile ICQ YIM
Launch Director
Launch Director
avatar
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:06 am
Posts: 15
Location: Northampton, Massachusetts, USA
Post    Posted on: Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:19 am
I would fill it with heilum, and then give it a 'greenhouse' balloon. Problem is, when this thing hits a cold front peeeeewwwwwww down it goes (or vise versa with a warm front). Maybe for high altitude weather ballons or something above temprature changing weather. But if your just going to lift a spaceship into the upper atmosphere for a one time deal, it really wouldnt make much of a difference at all between a regular hyrdogen filled balloon.

Btw, the hindenburg was like a flying bomb - the paint was very flammible and highly reactive with the almuminum structure the thing was built around, and there were massive amounts of diesel fuel stored around were the explosion first took place. And of course the thing was filled with hydrogen. I'm surprised it got as far as it did. Plus, modern technology has given us all sorts of airships many times more safer than common airplanes; the gas is stored pressures less than that of the atmosphere around it so theres not going to be any 'leaks', and the skin is made so that if you made a small hole in it it would just seal itself in opposed to let the entire volume of air out.

Balloon travel is very realistic if people take it seriously, and its also a very handy way to get to the upper atmosphere. If I was making an ultra - cost and material conservative space vehicle, it would be going up on a very large somewhat modified weather balloon.

_________________
Meh Site


Back to top
Profile YIM WWW
Launch Director
Launch Director
User avatar
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:18 am
Posts: 19
Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:22 am
Helium has some advantages especially when one wants to refill the lift cells from an on-board supply. Unfortunately, though, helium is also pretty good at sneaking out of a balloon. Molecular hydrogen tends to stick around a bit better from what I've heard and is considerably less flammable than other gases we tend to deal with on a daily basis.

If you're going to do it right, though, you really should think in terms of blended vehicles like my friends at JPA do.

8)

Image

_________________
-Dream Big.
--Grow Up.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:16 am
Posts: 322
Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:04 am
alfred,

I know you probably can't sat to much about this, but the new orbital V-ship design, how is it going to be able to generate enough plasma to overcome drag will still producing thrust at the same time? I know it all must have worked on paper, but every time I see this I keep thinking "there's got to be something missing"


Back to top
Profile YIM
Launch Director
Launch Director
User avatar
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:18 am
Posts: 19
Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:41 am
It's a blended vehicle. There is more than one type of engine on board. Instead of thinking of one engine, turn the question around and ask yourself what is needed to pull it off.

_________________
-Dream Big.
--Grow Up.


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:16 pm
What about a different or modified balloon-concept?

The concept of The da Vinci Project the spacecraft is lifted by hanging under the up-going balloon. After launching the spacecraft the balloon has to go down. What way? Leaving the helium into the atmosphere? There has been a small discussion about wasting helium this way.

The balloon seems to be drifting free.

What about combining it to parts of the elevator idea? The balloon could be left in its destined altitude and fixed on the surface by cables developed by teams competing for the elevator prize concerning the cable (thus providing practicle use for theses cables).

Then spacecrafts to be launched can be brought up to the altitude to be launched at by a climber developed too by teams competing for the elevator prize - concerning the climber and the energy source.

Might it be possible to hold platforms too by additional cables? Then it might be possible to provide four balloons installed like this and to establish a platform between them for launches like those from the ground.

Such construction might be used too for the ground part of the spaceelevator! And it is providing access to solar power as electricity source. In a certain altitude permanent wind energy is accessable too.

I suppose all the cables I'm speaking of to be made of nanocarbontubes.

By pulling the cables the balloon(s) not only can be moved to different locations but down to the ground too without wasting helium.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Last edited by Ekkehard Augustin on Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.



Back to top
Profile
Space Walker
Space Walker
avatar
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:00 pm
Posts: 213
Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 21, 2004 3:38 am
adiffer wrote:
If you're going to do it right, though, you really should think in terms of blended vehicles like my friends at JPA do.

8)

Image


Looks like the mysterious flying triangles over the desert people have been seeing lately. 8)


Back to top
Profile
Launch Director
Launch Director
User avatar
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:18 am
Posts: 19
Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:04 am
We keep telling the UFO folks it's just us, but they don't want to believe it. :o

We used to do round balloons hauling rockets up a few years ago like the da Vinci folks want to do, but we moved on to a more evolved vehicle where the balloons become an airship. There is a strong drawback to a single large balloon if you want to go beyond a prize effort and into a commercial operation.

_________________
-Dream Big.
--Grow Up.


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:51 am
Might it be possible to add a "stage" to save helium?

I am wondering if it might make sense to first lift a bottle of helium and the not yet helium filled second balloon by hot air balloons carrying a platform where the bottle and the other balloon are placed on.

When the maximum altitude is reached a hot air balloon (-system) can get to the second balloon is filled with helium to get even higher.

To get back the helium ballooon might pump back helium into the bottle until the hot air balloon platform is reached again where the remainder of the helium is pumped back into the bottle.

Next the hot air can be released and all balloons land again.

This way much less helium would be lost I suppose.



What about it?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
 

Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: JamesG and 14 guests


cron
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use