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Satellite/energy: The Franklin Institute has high hopes for its big balloon: A mile-long hot-air balloon is proposed for space research and solar power generation

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1 Author(s)
Okress, E.C. ; Franklin Res. Inst., Philadelphia, PA, USA

A mile-long hot-air balloon is proposed for space research and solar power generation. The concept is one of a large, manned station-a free-floating, navigable craft-able to ascend to the stratosphere and to remain there for years. Buoyancy would be provided by solar-heated, confined air. The craft would be capable of performing very-long-term monitoring of chemical, physical, electrical, and biological processes. Complementary to satellites, it would be able to carry astrophysical and Earth-sensing instruments. In addition it could be used as a high-power generating station, a power and communications relay station, a high-energy optical and radio astronomical observatory, and even a local weather-modification station. Most of these missions could be conducted simultaneously.

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 12 )