Conceptual design of a tethered balloon system for low altitude applications
Ying, Weng Seng
Date of Issue2017-05-15
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The idea of travelling in air via lighter-than-air vehicles has already existed since the 16th and 17th century. It is energy efficient and it can stay in the air for a long period of time. As time passes, there have been many studies on alternative shapes of the hull to further improve the performance of the aerostat. Lighter-than-air vehicles also start to develop more function. Instead of using it just for the sole purpose of travelling and sight seeing, it now plays a huge role in protecting the skies. The United States of America uses aerostats for surveillance purposes at the America Mexico border. Examples of the aerostat system they are using are Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) and the Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment (RAID). This report discuss about the material selection process of the different components of the aerostat. The criteria and the reason for each material chosen will be discussed. Calculations that are crucial in designing the aerostat will also be explained. For example the calculation of the minimum size of aerostat and finding out which shape of aerostat is the most efficient. The author will then come up with the design requirements via the use of design processes and finally coming up with a few design concepts to choose from. The best design is selected by using the weighted value evaluation method. Evaluation criteria include reliability, simplicity of mechanism, aesthetic, cost and ease of operation. The selected design will then be refined into a more robust and enhanced one during the embodiment design. The embodiment design will follow three main rules of safety, simplicity and clarity and also four principles, which are force transmission, division of task, stability and self-help. A final alteration will be made to the conceptual design to improve the inflation process by reducing time, manpower and better handling of the equipment.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University