NASA will do airship design contest: Requires up to 20 km altitude

California Institute of Technology, a study conducted by the Keck Institute for Space Studies think performance is more advanced airship has not out of reach, and suggested that NASA held a contest to encourage participants to develop more advanced airship.

NASA will do airship design contest 1

NASA next year will be held airship design contest, prize money $ 4,000,000.

NASA will do airship design contest 2

2005, the Army of stratospheric airship “Hi-Sentinel 20” for testing.

According to the British “Daily Mail” reported that the giant solar airship probably will partially replace the satellite, bear low cost communications and surveillance tasks. This is the view of the latest report published by NASA in support of the proposed. This report considers the stratospheric airship can fly the edge of Earth’s atmosphere, so as to scientific experiments or even assume telescopes provide a good platform, and its cost will be required to spend a small part of the use of rockets.

Researchers will test the airship had already risen to 65,000 feet (about 20 km) altitude, and weather balloons can reach such heights. In the near future, a study by the California Institute of Technology, Keck Institute for Space Studies conducted think the performance is more advanced airship has not out of reach, and suggested that NASA held a contest to encourage participants to develop more advanced airship.

NASA said in a report on the plan states: “In the space astronomy and Earth sciences, while relatively few opportunities for airship (self-powered, can be manipulated, and the density is less than air) will enhance the space and ground. observational coverage, data downloading capabilities, as well as competitive prices to provide continuous observation tasks suborbital great significance. “

NASA said airship contest will provide $ 4 million in prize money, and will be held at the beginning of next year. The agency said: “The contestants must create an airship has the power, in the case of carrying 20 kg payload to be sent to an altitude of 20 km altitude and stay more than 20 hours of continuous design must consider scalability, can be upgraded. After flying longer distances and carry heavier loads. “

Professionals have affirmed the introduction of the tournament for NASA. Astrophysicist at the University of California, Sarah Miller (Sarah Miller) said: “The stratospheric airship can provide a similar platform to the space environment, but it does not take into space so high a price.”

In order to better illustrate how stratospheric airship will be used in scientific research. Dr. Miller and colleagues at the Keck Institute for Space Studies prepared a detailed analysis of the introduction.

They wrote in the report: “In the past 20 years, the people for the development of high-altitude, stratospheric, lighter-than-air (LTA), can be manipulated, can hover at a fixed location over several weeks, months or even years of advanced airship continued to maintain a wide range of interests. Such stratospheric airship will allow a wide range of monitoring capabilities the military may be raised. Such communications platform also means that companies can take to provide business communications and data transmission services to remote areas. “

Report that: “Despite the stratospheric airship seems today more just an idea, but the idea has not yet become a reality once this airship mature height of about 20 km on the run from the ground to the lower stratosphere, that. will provide a unique means of language and the ability to Earth atmospheric science data collection. as compared satellite launch, the airship to be low cost and more, for space science is concerned, it appears likely will change the rules of the game. “

Steve Smith (Steve Smith) is an aerospace engineer, he designed the first successful stratospheric airship in 2005 “Hi-Sentinel 20”. Army subsequently verified this airship flight tests. Aboard the airship took off from New Mexico, but only stay in the air for about eight hours. Still, it proved an unmanned airship does have a high degree of acceptance in the stratosphere, ground handling and the ability to achieve a team of engineers to move freely.

Keck Institute’s final report, wrote: “Science, not war, will be to promote the construction of stratospheric airship final motive, it will provide a unique platform for monitoring our most precious resource – our lives of the planet, and to look up a new universe on the horizon, until the end of the observable universe. “

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