ALTADENA, CA Global Aerospace Corporation announced today that a decision has been made by the NASAs Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) to fund the second year of the Phase II contract to develop a revolutionary concept for networks of stratospheric balloons. Constellations of superpressure balloons can help scientists and meteorologists study many major environmental and weather prediction problems. Tropical atmosphere circulation, global radiation balance, and polar ozone depletion could be studied from a global or regional network of instrumented balloons. These networks could assist in pollution monitoring, weather and hurricane forecasting and tracking, and global circulation studies. As the cost of satellite operations continues to increase, the need for less expensive and more efficient in situ systems for some observations becomes more apparent.
Global Aerospace Corporations concept involves a new type of stratospheric platform based on advanced balloon technology. This system, called the StratoSat platform, circles the Earth at a constant altitude of 35 km [114,800 ft] for 3 to 10 years (see figure 1). A StratoSail Trajectory Control System (TCS) guides the balloon system. Also being developed by Global Aerospace Corporation, the TCS utilizes a wing and rudder to react against wind streams in the atmosphere. The StratoSail TCS is located 15 km below the balloon at an altitude of 20 km [65,600 ft], which is above most aircraft.
Constellations of StratoSat platforms would augment and complement many satellite measurements, and possibly even replace some environmental measurement satellites. The keys to implementing this new concept are (a) affordable, long-duration balloon systems, (b) balloon flight path control capability, (c) constellation geometry management, and (d) a global communications infrastructure.
In todays satellite era there has been a shift away from ground based conventional measuring systems to remote sensing from
Contact: Kerry T. Nock
Global Aerospace Corporation