Geosynchronous Balloon Control Solution

Jesse B Bramble, Lee Mondini, Hani Naqvi, Matt Peppo

Abstract


For their Senior Design Project, Jesse Bramble, Lee Mondini, Hani Naqvi, and Matt Peppo are conducting a feasibility study to determine if it is possible to control a high altitude weather balloon for sustained flight in near space. To start their research, the team investigated similar projects and their control techniques. The only comparable project to the Geosynchronous Balloon Control Solution team was Google’s Project Loon. Inspired by the control algorithm used for Project Loon, our team is aiming to implement a control technique that will allow the user to specify GPS coordinates causing the balloon to try and stay stationary at the given coordinates in 3D space. After some research, we have concluded that this result can be achieved by manipulating the altitude of the balloon causing it to float in different directions with the wind. Our simulation has concluded that using an ideal balloon, as if the balloon was a point, our control algorithm is capable of guiding the balloon to a specified point in space and sustain the flight.

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