1376. Solar Thermal Aerostat Research Station (STARS)

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Title1376. Solar Thermal Aerostat Research Station (STARS)
Publication TypeConference Paper
Paper Number1376
Year of Publication1980
AuthorsOkress, E. C., and Soberman R. K.
Conference39th Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, May 12-14
Conference LocationSt. Louis, Missouri
PublisherSociety of Allied Weight Engineers, Inc.
Date Published5/12/80

This paper introduces the concept of a large, vented (constant-volume), solar-powered, heated air, spherical, rigid, navigable and hoverable aerostat, which is able to remain aloft in the stratosphere indefinitely, with life support supplies. It may be launched from the surface or preferably assembled in the stratosphere. Equipped with nighttime energy storage systems (e.g., stratospheric water electrolysis, water vapor, etc.), it will be capable of performing, on a 24-hour basis, a wide variety of long-term scientific, commercial and strategic missions in the stratosphere, as previously delineated10. Most, if not all, of these missions may be conducted simultaneously, due to the unprecedented lift capability of the proposed aerostat. With also environmentally clean solar-energized compressed air and/or suppressed electric discharge thrusters, it will be capable of 24 hours/day navigation and hovering in the stratosphere. Most regions in the stratosphere about the Earth may be reached on solar energy alone. With Space Power System (SPS) Laser-directed energy to the aerostat, the inaccessible (i.e., polar) regions of the Earth may be also included. Residence in the stratosphere is anticipated throughout the year for an indefinite period (e.g., to 10 years or more).

Key Words18. Weight Engineering - Spacecraft Design
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