Weather Balloon Tethering Help! - RC Groups
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Jan 09, 2013, 07:30 AM
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Weather Balloon Tethering Help!

Hi Everyone,

I am currently doing a project at college that requires my group to monitor several variables at the height of 76m by using a weather balloon of some sort.

We are currently looking into ways of tethering the balloon to keep it stable at the stated altitude in the event that we encounter are any problems with the weather.

All suggestions are welcome and I am very grateful for any advice provided.

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Feb 04, 2013, 03:48 AM
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Hello Chris
Welcome to RCG.
Interesting question.Im guessing that by saying "weather balloon of some sort" your in pre planning stages.There are going to be alot of things to consider.If you are looking for a stable platform you are going to need a minimum of 3 tethers.
At 250ft up your going to need at least over 1000ft of line whatever you use.You may even want 4 points of tether to be stable.It will need enough extra lift to keep the tethers tight enough to be stable.How long do you plan on leaving it up? What kind of wind will you design for? If it is going to up long term you will probably want a way to keep the envelope inflated as it will have leakage over time.Something that high is probably going to require some kind of visual collision avoidance system and possibly approval and registration of the site same as if you put up a tower.Last thing you want is for an aircraft to fly into the lines.I guess you need to rough out what all equip you will want on the platform itself and a proposed material for the tethers and add up all the weight to get a rough idea how big of a balloon you are going to need.
Then work the numbers for potential expected wind and necessary strength of the tether system.A plan B to get it down and secured if you get unexpected wind/weather beyond your design limitations.
There are alot of things to consider.Not sure what dept. you are doing this out of but it would probably be a good idea to get collaboration with the engineering dept. Then theres budget. It sounds like you need to assemble a team with ppl who have strong points on each of the aspects that are going to need to be applied to make something like this work safely.
Sounds like a fun project.Best of luck.
Oct 15, 2013, 12:36 PM
I'm certainly following this thread.

I might be starting something like this to so I'll keep you posted and visa/versa.
Oct 25, 2013, 12:09 PM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar
Use an aerostat, airfoil shaped baloon with fins and a single mooring line.

Not endorsing these folks, just using them as an example:

Use a GPS based autopilot on-board the blimp to apply up (or down) elevator to the blimp to control altitude. If any wind pushes the blimp away from its static hovering height, because of the single mooring line the blimp will lose height, but if anchored correctly it will also increase angle of attack and it will inrease lift. The autopilot adds up elevator to insure the increase AOA AND it sends a signal down to the base station to real out line to allow the balloon to fly up to the commanded height.

This should be able to maintain constant altitude within a 250 meter radius of the anchor point

Don't forget if you are in the US your device has to comply with 14 CFR Part 101.

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