Tethered Balloon Projects

Tethered Balloons (or tethered Aerostats as they are sometimes referred) differ from airships in that they have no motive power. Typical applications for tethered aerostats are sight seeing tourist rides, Weather observations at multiple pressure altitudes, Military observation ‘over the horizon view’.

In 1996 on an extremely accelerated time line, Aeromechanics designed and stressed the 6,000m3 envelope and net system for the first Lindstrand HiFlyer. In addition to that commitment, Aeromechanics stressed the 25 passenger gondola compiling all the structural justification reports for the certification authorities. Today these Lindstrand Hi-Flyer aerostat systems are operational in many countries all over the world.

Utilising the skill sets in structural analysis that Aeromechanics has gained over the years, this is put to advantage when designing less complex but still safety critical components. The rigour employed in the analysis of aerospace structures is common practise across the board in almost all products assessed by Aeromechanics.

The pictures opposite and below show some Finite Element Models of the tethered aerostat steel structures.

What makes these particular robust steel structures different from most is that they have to interface sympathetically with
a flexible aerostat. When considering the unsteady flow regimes in gusty weather, both the static and dynamic
interactions can be technically challenging.