Arizona Patent of the Month – May 2021

Hot air balloons make for a picturesque tourist activity, giving you a unique vantage point as well as a unique story. But high altitude flight in lighter-than-air (LTA) systems can come in multiple forms and are also popular amongst meteorology, research, and communications industries. Typically hot air balloons of LTAs are limited in their abilities to control their trajectory while in flight. World View Enterprises has designed a unique LTA that offers rapid descent and ascent, helping to give the operator more control. 

This LTA design uses a dual balloon system. A zero=pressure balloon (ZPB) is attached to a variable air super-pressure balloon (SPB). The ZPB provides lift for the system. The SPB creates a ballast that can be altered by pumping in or releasing air as needed. Splitting these two controls into two separate balloons gives the operator greater control. The ZPB is initially under-inflated with a gas like helium during launch, and will inflate as the LTA gains altitude. In a traditional LTA, the ZPB is open to the environment and can leak helium to prevent the increased altitudes from over pressurizing the balloon. This improved design has a closed ZPB that relies on the SPB to prevent overpressurizing.. In this dual balloon design, the SPB accounts for the cyclic pressure of changing altitudes and can provide buoyancy when needed. A compressor can pump more air in or release air from the SPB when greater or lesser altitude is needed. As air enters or leaves, the LTA ascends or descends respectively. With this type of control, the LTA can have rapid altitude changes without concern. Further features have been included to increase payload support, and landing support. World View Enterprises has really found an innovative way to improve a surprisingly useful form of transportation.

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