Team #2_Storm Glider_Critical Design Review_Supporting Document

Team #2_Storm Glider_Critical Design Review_Supporting Document

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AAE 490/590t/CGT 423 Storm Glider Design Review Document March 10, 2004 Steven Blaske, Matthew Branson, Heather Dunn, Leslie Martin, Nicholas Nugent, Enrique Portillo Carrie Spear
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OBJECTIVE / MISSION Project Motivation One of the most common ways to collect weather data today is through weather balloons. As these balloons ascend, they eventually pop or drift out of range for retrieval. A major drawback of this process is that the data acquisition and transmission equipment, or radiosonde, is lost. The loss of this equipment results in a great cost for the National Weather Service. For example, it costs $100 for every expendable radiosonde without a GPS and $165 for radiosonde with a GPS. The United States deploys 150 radiosondes daily, which brings the cost to $15,000 to $25,000 per day [1]. Overall in the world, $200,000 is spent daily to replace the lost equipment on weather balloons. To help reduce the cost of collecting weather data, the storm glider idea emerged. The function of a storm glider is to collect atmospheric data while attached to a weather balloon. The weather balloon carries the glider to a specific altitude at which it is released. Figure 1 in the Appendix shows how the glider will be carried up vertically to the designated altitude. Once released, the glider will return with the radiosonde to a pre-described location. This trajectory can be seen in figure two in the Appendix. The original proposal of this idea was developed by Dean Lauritsen of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in 1993 [2]. There have been a few attempts to design and build a storm glider. Even though the idea of a storm glider was originally designed for use with weather balloons, this concept can have broader capabilities. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency can use the storm glider to collect air pollution data on a more regular basis. Also the military could possibly use this technology for surveillance. Mission Requirements Overview This particular mission is based off of the general concept discussed above. The glider will be carried to an altitude of 500 feet attached to a weather balloon and then released. Upon release, the glider will dive for 100 feet to pick up speed and then glide the distance the balloon had drifted while descending 100 feet. The glider will then loiter over a predetermined spot until it reaches an altitude of 100 feet. At this time, a parachute will be deployed to guide the glider to a safe landing. The general design will have some restrictions. The FAA requires that the glider poses no hazard to general aviation 6 . For this reason, a constraint on the design is that collision with the glider will not cause catastrophic damage to a general aviation plane. To avoid this damage, the glider has to be small and light enough so if it did collide with an oncoming airplane, minimal damage would occur. The FAA also requires notification if the glider is flown above 500 feet from the ground [6]. Although the final glider design
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Team #2_Storm Glider_Critical Design Review_Supporting Document

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