AEROSTAT-Baloon Project

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  • Aerostats are aerial platforms which generate the lift required for them to be afloat by buoyant force provided by Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) gas filled inside the envelope,
  • Aerostats are tethered to the ground, and have many potential applications, since they can remain afloat in air for long duration of time without burning any fuel,
  • Aerostats also have very low vibration characteristics which help in meeting requirements like communication cover, aerial surveillance, climate monitoring and other such purposes,
  • Conceived and conceptualized at IIT Bombay who has analyzed the technical feasibility,
  • The main objective of the project is to attend Emergency situations like natural calamities generally disrupt power supply, which hinders the relief and rehabilitation operations,
  • This project involves the design, fabrication and field deployment of a tethered aerostat system for aerial surveillance,
  • A robust communication solution called Self- Contained Relocatable Wireless Communication System using Tethered Aerostats (SeRWiCTAS),
  • The aerostat (balloon) is to be sized using an existing design methodology that takes care of the effect of certain user-specified parameters as well as the operating conditions.

Design considerations:

  • The aerostat envelope is to be fabricated by joining eight petals of a special PVC coated material on an RF Sealing machine,
  • A special design feature of aerostat is the use of semi-rigid configuration for the fins, constructed of an aluminum truss framework, covered with thin transparent PVC sheet,
  • A hand-operated winch for raising and lowering the aerostat,
  • A payload recovery device is required to be installed on the aerostat, which automatically detects accidental breakage of tether (by sensing sustained loss of tension) and triggers a circuit to burn a hole on top of the envelope; thus resulting on loss of buoyancy and hence lowering of the Aerostat.

Beneficiary:

  • All disaster prone areas in various districts of Uttarakhand State,
    • Common people in the typical geographically areas of all 13 districts of Uttarakhand state including 10 remotest districts.

Highlights:

  • Aerostats are aerial platforms, Connectivity up to or more than 10Kms,
  • Tethered to the ground attached to a winch for raising and lowering the aerostat, can remain afloat in air  for long duration of time without burning any fuel,
  • Generate lift required for them to be afloat by buoyant force provided by lighter-than-air (lta) gas filled inside the envelope with Omni Directional antenna (weight 1.16 kg) on-board,
    • The system is to be mounted on a suitable vehicle, to make it easily re-locatable thereby saving time,
    • Solar energy enabled hence can provide communication network during an emergency,
    • Operational limitations exist (height, weight etc.); Height of Aerostat: few meters – 5,000 m (above ground),
    • The fuel or energy consumption for any other competing system such as helicopter or uav is very high, even while offering much lower endurance,
    • Very low vibration characteristics which help in meeting requirements like aerial surveillance, climate monitoring and other such purposes,
    • Data speed up to 5 Mbps.

Current Status

Mou has been signed between ITDA and IIT Mumbai.  First trial of the project has been successfully completed at Ahmednagar and second successful trial has been completed at Dehradun, IT Park.  Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Sri Trivendra Singh Rawat had launched the Aerostat Internet Balloon at the premises of ITDA, IT Park, Dehradun on 8th June 2018.

1. 1st POC successfully completed on 25th march to 1st April 2018 at Ahmednagar,Maharastra

2. 2nd POC successfully completed on 8th  June 2018 at Dehradun,Uttarakhand