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7876Re: [GPSL] 5 Years from Now

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  • Keith Kaiser
    Aug 1, 2010
      NSV flew ashes inside the balloon, hence distributed ashes of my dad this way a couple of years ago. Deb and I expect the same when our time comes.

      On Jul 31, 2010, at 10:06 PM, Zack Clobes wrote:


      Regarding the scattering of ashes, I believe the EPA has some issues with that.  There are various pilots/aircraft that are setup to do such a thing.  Several years ago I stumbled across a website (don't remember what I was actually looking for...) that was talking about it, but they kept referring to it as "theoretical" since in many circumstances it would be illegal to do so.

      If you did sea-side scattering, you probably wouldn't have as many issues with polluting, but then you'd somehow have to get the video back to the family.

      Nevertheless, if I wind up cremated, I expect someone on this forum to sneak at least part of me into near space... ;-)

      Zack Clobes, W0ZC
      Project: Traveler
      www.projecttraveler .org

      On Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 9:58 PM, Mike Manes <mrmanes@gmail. com> wrote:

      Hi Paul,

      Heck, we ALL talk about near space - after all, we did that all Friday a
      couple of weeks ago! So is this part of your degree program or what?

      Note that Space Data Corp has turned a decent profit from it's medium-term
      vented latex floaters carrying proprietary cell sites. Space Data started
      out considering station-keeping long-duration balloons, but soon discovered
      that balloon volume, weight and cost soars exponentially with weight, thus
      driving them towards small latex bags like we're used to flying. The fact
      that they keep the sky full of their balloons over the area of interest, an
      have them networked, pretty well deals with the random flight trajectory

      DoD is becoming quite interested in using near space and lower balloons
      for remote sensing, communications and tactical purposes; maybe we in ARHAB
      might have inspired 'em? Of course, NASA's Columbia SBF has been launching
      "Buicks with 4 scientists" into near space for decades - but those flights
      ain't cheap.

      EOSS has flown several in situ atmospheric CO2 and CH4 profilers for NOAA, and
      some of the results have been quite revealing. And astronomers have become
      interested in flying sub-orbital telescopes - almost as good birds like
      Hubble, but a LOT cheaper to fly, and you can get 'em back to fly again
      another day. A good example was the microwave background survey experiment
      that flew under a ZPB from Sweden to Canada a few years ago.

      You mentioned ZPB's as the way to achieve long-duration flights. However,
      the Space Data technique seems to work just dandy. With newer polymer
      films coming out, super-pressure balloons may be the next wave of floaters.
      SPBs don't "burn" ballast to stay afloat, and the envelopes can be made
      quite UV-resistant. NASA has been working with AeroStar to develop SPBs of
      the size they're accustomed to flying, but the stresses required to hold
      gas pressure with 2000 kg neck loads are formidable. So I foresee some
      ARHAB group taking the initiative to make and fly a small SPB by 2015.
      Hmmm ... just WHO will it be?

      And for sure, we can expect to see more for-profit organizations such as
      Space Data trotting out new sub-orbital services, using commercial and/or
      Part 15 RF links.

      Forecasting the future is risky business - it's always easier to forecast
      in retrospect :=).

      73 de Mike W5VSI

      On 7/31/2010 20:13, L. Paul Verhage wrote:
      > I've been asked to speak about the future of near space. First is up to 2015.
      > I want to say that what we do was started in 1987. At the time, education was
      > not a big part of it, it was mostly hams trying out ham equipment at high
      > altitude. Gradually education got involved and is now one of the biggest

      > growth areas. Colleges and high schools use near space to motivate students
      > and encourage them to work on technical degrees. Some colleges have used near
      > space to teach the principles of spaceflight. If the cost of spaceflight
      > continues to decrease, then we could see more use of near space at
      > universities. Hams provide most of the lift services, but there are cases of
      > non-ham radios being used. Commercial and ISM radios could equal the number
      > of ham radios used in near space by 2015. Perhaps in five years, commercial

      > entities will provide launch services for schools. They have the benefit of
      > being able to launch on weekdays, when most hams are working.
      > Hams were the first to experiment with repeaters in near space. While it's
      > not a big money maker yet, using balloon repeaters is used commerically along
      > the gulf coast. It may never grow very large, but it could be useful in
      > emergency situations like fighting fires in mountainous terrain where repeater
      > coverage is poor. Could a commercial outfit find this a profitable enterprise?

      > Because winds are too variable and not repeatable, I don't believe balloon
      > borne platforms will be very practical for mapping or resource detection. The
      > fact that balloons climb in altitude also hinders this because of the changing
      > scale size ad level of details. ZPB can address some of these issues, but are
      > still limited because they can't fly repeatable path. Perhaps for one time
      > coverage, balloons will work well.
      > I foresee balloons still being used for atmospheric profiles. Satellites will
      > be get better sensors for measuring the atmosphere. However, that also means
      > balloons will get better sensors, also. A satellite can cover a larger area,
      > but sacrifices the small details that balloons can measure. As long as the
      > gases are mixed uniformly, balloons can measure them anywhere.
      > I don't see industrial processes being carried out in near space. But what
      > about Internet servers in near space? Perhaps lots of people would be willing
      > to check in to the environmental conditions and images on a near space
      > website. The equipment would be paid for by advertisers on the website.
      > Bigelow Aerospace has launched mementos into space that people paid to have

      > launched. They can see them floating around on the space station's website.
      > JP Aerospace has photographed business cards in near space. Is carrying
      > personal stuff into near space a profitable venture when you consider the
      > expense of recovery?
      > Burial services? An ounce of cremains could be placed inside a balloon and

      > then launched. A digital camera pointed up will show the balloon bursting in
      > near space and spreading the ashes. Or the ashes could be carried up in a

      > container that is dumped in near space. Again, having a video recorder to
      > record the event would be important.
      > Anyhow, these are things I'm thinking about. If you have any ideas
      > or resources, please let me know.
      > --
      > Onwards and Upwards,
      > Paul

      Mike Manes mrmanes@gmail. com Tel: 303-979-4899
      "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
      A. Einstein

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