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  Projects : Research Work on Stratospheric Airships
  Sponsoring Agency : NSTL
Period : 2011-2012

Stratospheric Airships are lighter than air high altitude long endurance (LTA-HALE) systems operating at altitudes typically in the range of 18-22 Km. These systems are completely unmanned and the operating altitude is chosen on the basis of minimum atmospheric disturbances in that zone. The airships are generally air borne for an operational period of more than 6 months. These systems are supported in air with the help of buoyancy force also called aerostatic lift provided by the lifting gas filled in it. Airships find their use in surveillance, communication, etc. These systems if made geo stationary, can also serve the purpose of geo stationary satellites. The entire feasibility study on the development and performance of geo stationary stratospheric airships has been carried out. Different shapes were analysed on the basis of static and dynamic stability, ease of launch and recovery, power consumption and generation, and sustainability for a period of 6 months. Exhaustive work was carried out in the areas of stability analysis by proposing analytical methods for estimating aerodynamic parameters. Mathematical model was developed for estimating the leakage of lifting gas to study the endurance of airships. Different methods were suggested for carrying out launch and recovery of the airship. An algorithm was proposed for calculating the amount of solar power developed to support the power requirements of the system by mounting solar panels over a minimum possible area.

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