Florida Patent of the Month – September 2021

You might not have thought of this before but balloons and space go together quite nicely. For instance, NASA uses scientific balloons for near-space access, suspending payloads at set altitudes to conduct research. A balloon system usually has parachutes held taut between the balloon and payload. The connection between the balloon and the parachute can interfere with proper parachute deployment in these traditional designs. Space Perspective, Inc. has designed a new balloon system which does not interfere with the parachute.

Space Perspective’s balloon system allows the simultaneous use of the balloon and the parachute or individually in the event of a balloon failure or release. Their design creates a balloon-based aerospace vehicle – or balloon propelled space capsule – which can also function as a terrestrial vehicle or watercraft. The system is still designed with a parachute between the payload and balloon, but is designed so that the parachute canopy encircles the tether. This way, the balloon is tethered directly to the payload and cannot impact the parachute’s canopy deployment. The canopy is connected to the payload with a set of suspension wires that force it to hold it’s shape when deployed. The length of the wires and the tether are calculated to ensure that neither impedes the parachute’s performance. In this way, the parachute deployment is much more reliable.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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