1991-09-01

High-Altitude Lighter-Than-Air Powered Platform 912054

To tackle global environmental problems, the acquisition of plentiful and precise data is necessary, and a means of conducting long-lasting high-resolution measurements over broad areas is required. A feasibility study has been made on a high-altitude (about 20km), super-pressured, and helium-filled PLTA (Powered Lighter-Than-Air) vehicle as an ideal platform for environmental observation. It has a long service life and carries a larger payload than an artificial satellite. This PLTA platform, named HALROP (High Altitude Long Range Observational Platform), uses a solar-powered electric propulsion system to maintain its position in space against wind currents. The solar power is acquired from solar cells. For night use, solar energy is stored in regenerative fuel cells. This study examines energy balance and provides a structural analysis of the vehicle.

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