Friday, May 8, 2009

Moving the LEDs around inside the canopy: reefing in the canopy to deflate the balloon

I had previously suggested moving the LEDs around inside the canopy on something like an automatic extending car aerial. Now we'd be talking about moving the radar reflector with LEDs.

How would we do something like this?
You could for instance have a pulley and rope made of cyclo-olefin and turned by an electric motor. But then it occurred to me that the canopy will expand during flight so it will be hard to keep the pulley tight - or not too tight. The pulley would presumably have to be attached to the roof of the canopy.

Maybe we are still looking at the extendable car aerial idea then. Heavier but simpler. A similar system could be used to deploy a sampler (perhaps surrounded by a VRS stream?) Perhaps.

(One quick thought... If the LEDs are attached to an aluminised radar reflector, then presumably this could be a common earth for the LEDs?)

Where we COULD attach something to the canopy would be for deflating it, assuming we try to reuse it and don't just burst it. Remember, this could be a custom C-O canopy.
By opening a valve and then taughtening a line attached to the inside of the canopy, which can slowly reef in the canopy like a concertina and squeeze out the Helium, triggering a controlled descent.

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