Keyword: Balloons

Application Briefs: Aerospace
NASA and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) recently tested a new way to see the Sun
Articles: Materials

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Wallops Arc-Second Pointer (WASP)

The Wallops Arc Second Pointer (WASP) is a balloon-borne attitude control system capable of pointing a telescope or instrument with accuracy and stability down to the arc second, or 1/3600 of a degree of angular measurement. When a high-powered telescope is integrated with WASP, it provides a highly precise...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed software-defined radio (SDR) telemetry transceiver technology to collect and transmit data to and from small...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Experiments in space can be expensive and infrequent, but Earth’s upper atmosphere is accessible via large scientific balloons, and can be used to address many of the same fundamental questions. Scientific balloons are made of a...

Application Briefs: Aerospace
Super pressure balloon
Raven Aerostar
Sioux Falls, SD

A super pressure balloon (SPB) designed by Raven Aerostar, and the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Algorithm for Determining Solar Aspect from Images Generated by the HEROES Mission

The goal of the High Energy Replicated Optics to Explore the Sun (HEROES) mission was to adapt an existing balloon payload, known as High Energy Replicated Optics (HERO), for solar observation. HERO used an on-axis star camera for fine aspect sensing, but this...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Characteristics of the Spliced Kennedy Space Center Doppler Radar Wind Profiler Database

NASA relies on the Natural Environments (NE) Branch located at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to provide databases that represent the wind magnitudes and wind changes expected on day-of-launch (DOL) for vehicle programs that MSFC NE supports. MSFC NE...

Briefs: Aerospace
Scientific Balloons as Solar Sails

Existing scientific research balloons such as those launched from Wallops Flight Facility could be placed in near- Earth space where they would perform as solar sails, providing relatively inexpensive propulsion systems for interplanetary missions. The balloons would accelerate at rates comparable with the ion...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Neutron Spectrometer for Inner Radiation Belt Studies

The Earth’s magnetosphere offers a wealth of information on particle dynamics, acceleration, and trapping. Fast neutrons, produced in the Earth’s atmosphere by the impact of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs), are an important but poorly measured component of...

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Planetary Atmospheres Minor Species Sensor (PAMSS)
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL

Using a high-altitude balloon, NASA and a team led by University of...

Application Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Atmospheric Icing Sensors
Glenn Research Center
Cleveland, OH

NASA’s Glenn Research Center scientists are sending up weather balloons to read...

Briefs: Aerospace

Sample return missions have the ability to vastly increase scientific understanding of the origin, history, current status, and resource potential of solar system objects including...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Low-Weight, Durable, Low-Cost Metal Rubber Sensor System for Ultra-Long-Duration Scientific Balloons

Large axial load forces and extreme temperature ranges are typical for scientific balloon missions. Therefore, a durable, flexible, and thermally stable sensor material is needed. In this innovation, sensors have been designed to be integrated...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Technology for a Comet Sample Return Mission Version 2

A standoff sample collection system would be capable of quickly obtaining a sample from environments as varied as comets, asteroids, and permanently shadowed craters on the Moon from vehicles ranging from traditional planetary spacecraft to platforms such as hovering rotorcraft or balloons...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Automatic Localization of MSL Rover Mosaics in HiRISE Imagery

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) surface operations require precise and accurate knowledge of rover position. A key means of establishing/verifying position is to match ortho-rectified mosaics from the MSL onboard cameras to orbital data. Manual localization by matching mosaics to HiRISE...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Typical lighter-than-air vehicles utilizing a superpressure design such as balloons, aerostats, or blimps, have one or more fittings attached to the gas containment skin that can serve as load attachment...

Briefs: Information Technology
KSC Spaceport Weather Data Archive

The Spaceport Weather Data Archive provides a fully searchable database of weather data gathered at Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Weather data includes wind, temperature, and humidity data from a surface meteorological tower network; upper air soundings from both weather...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Lightweight Liquid Helium Dewar for High-Altitude Balloon Payloads

Astrophysical observations at millimeter wavelengths require large (2-to-5- meter diameter) telescopes carried to altitudes above 35 km by scientific research balloons. The scientific performance is greatly enhanced if the telescope is cooled to temperatures below 10 K with no...

Research News: Lighting
Low-Level Light Therapy Could Be Used to Treat Alzheimer’s Patients

Among Americans over 80, who represent the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, half are debilitated with a neurodegenerative disorder. Of this group, 5.4 million now have Alzheimer’s Disease, and according to recent data released by the Alzheimer’s Association,...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Next-Generation Tumbleweed Rover

A document describes a next-generation tumbleweed rover that involves a split balloon system that is made up of two half-spherical air bladders with a disc between them. This disc contains all the electronics and instruments. By deflating only the bottom balloon, the rover can sit, bringing the surface probe into...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Sonic Thermometer for High-Altitude Balloons

The sonic thermometer is a specialized application of well-known sonic anemometer technology. Adaptations have been made to the circuit, including the addition of supporting sensors, which enable its use in the high-altitude environment and in non-air gas mixtures.

Briefs: Information Technology
Probabilistic Path Planning of Montgolfier Balloons in Strong, Uncertain Wind Fields

Lighter-than-air vehicles such as hot-air balloons have been proposed for exploring Saturn’s moon Titan, as well as other bodies with significant atmospheres. For these vehicles to navigate effectively, it is critical to incorporate the effects of surrounding...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
'In Situ' Aerosol Detector

An affordable technology designed to facilitate extensive global atmospheric aerosol measurements has been developed. This lightweight instrument is compatible with newly developed platforms such as tethered balloons, blimps, kites, and even disposable instruments such as dropsondes.

This technology is based on...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Two-Stage Winch for Kites and Tethered Balloons or Blimps

A winch system provides a method for launch and recovery capabilities for kites and tethered blimps or balloons. Low power consumption is a key objective, as well as low weight for portability. This is accomplished by decoupling the tether-line storage and winding/ unwinding functions,...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Compact THz receivers with broad bandwidth and low noise have been developed for the frequency range from 100 GHz to 1 THz. These receivers meet the requirements for high-resolution...

Briefs: Information Technology
Multi-Modal Image Registration and Matching for Localization of a Balloon on Titan

A solution was developed that matches visible/IR imagery aboard a balloon in Saturn’s moon Titan’s atmosphere to SAR (synthetic aperture radar) and visible/IR data acquired from orbit. A balloon in Titan’s atmosphere must be able to localize itself...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Sample acquisition from small bodies is a key capability needed for proposed comet and asteroid sample return missions. This investigation determines how to utilize shape memory...


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