China trip December 2011 – Gas Kite ModelReturn to News
The Gas Kite is a lifting device that mixes the use of lighter-than-air gas lift with lift from a kite. Perfect for missions when the wind is too light to use our ROK kites to lift cameras, we take advantage that it will go up with almost no wind, then it will catch the light breeze that will help to stay even higher and stable.
Our main development this time in the factory was to study the 3D inflated shape of the lifting balloon. The original Gas Kite is made by welding 2 flat circles. The resulting inflated shape is not a sphere, but a “flattened sphere”, more like a pancake… or a burger. Because the balloon is made with 2 flat circles, there are lots of wrinkles around the biggest diameter (horizontal plane).
Using our software, we developed the pieces that put together will form a nicer and cleaner balloon, and from there we will build the improved Gas Kite.
It was also a useful test for the software engine regarding how to develop the panels of the “burger” and what result is closer to the desired shape.
Any inflated volume will try to form a circular shape. If that is longer in one dimension, it approximates to a cone or tube. To design the burger shape we flow a sequence of circles along the ruling curves of an ellipse, resulting in the 3D ellipsoid.
The pictures show the results of our developed objects, using many types of division and number of panels, trying to get as close as possible to the Gas Kite ratio of 0.7 (height to diameter).Return to News
More: Kite Design, Manufacturing, and Repair