1376. Solar Thermal Aerostat Research Station (STARS)


SAWE Members get a $200 store credit each year.*

Become a SAWE Member

*Store credit coupon available at checkout, click the button in your shopping cart to apply the coupon.
Not applicable to SAWE textbooks and current conference technical papers.


E C Okress, R K Soberman: 1376. Solar Thermal Aerostat Research Station (STARS). 1980.



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).


SKU: Paper1376 Category: