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The Air-Launched Balloon System (ALBS) Development Program, Phase 2

Description: Abstract: The circumstances leading to the second phase of the Air-Launched Balloon System Development Program are described, along with the governing design constraints. Individual component development efforts and system design modifications are described in turn: the procurement and testing of the new dewar, the qualification of the updated cryogenic unit recovery system. The complicated command, control, and telemetry subsystem is also described in detail. The results of component tests and a system dress rehearsal system tests are summarized. Preparations for two full-scale system tests conducted in 1981 are covered in considerable detail. The results of those tests are presented and the test data are analyzed. It is concluded that the system's air-launch and mid-air inflation techniques are acceptable. The balloon requires structural reinforcements, however, before the system can be said to be fully developed.
Date: December 15, 1981
Creator: Carten, Andrew S., Jr.

The Flight Test Aspects of the Air-Launched Balloon System (ALBS) Development Program

Description: Abstract: The Air Launched Balloon System (ALBS) development history is traced and the circumstances leading up to planned ALBS flight tests are described, including a report on successful tests of the cryogenic storage subsystem. The theoretical performance of a candidate parachute development system--35-ft (10. 67 m) diameter ring sail drogue, 64-ft (19.51 m) diameter flat circular main chute--is mathematically analyzed using a number of stated assumptions. Contingency arrangements (e.g., use of ballast) and their impact are discussed. Data indicate that the ALBS mid-air deployment concepts require experimental proof-of-concept testing to ensure optimum component selection. Parachute subsystem verification tests planned for the autumn of 1976 at El Centro, Calif., are outlined along with plans for partial and complete ALBS system test drops from a carrier balloon in 1977 at White Sands Missile Range.
Date: August 30, 1976
Creator: Carten, Andrew S., Jr.
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