A document describes a graph-based path-planning algorithm for balloons with vertical control authority and little or no horizontal control authority. The balloons are designed to explore celestial bodies with atmospheres, such as Titan, a moon of Saturn. The algorithm discussed enables the balloon to achieve horizontal motion using the local horizontal winds. The approach is novel because it enables the balloons to use arbitrary wind field models. This is in contrast to prior approaches that used highly simplified wind field models, such as linear, or binary, winds.
This work was done by Lars James Blackmore, Nanaz Fathpour, and Alberto Elfes of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Information Sciences category. NPO-46607
This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Graph-Based Path-Planning for Titan Balloons (reference NPO-46607) is currently available for download from the TSP library.
Please Login at the top of the page to download.