Thursday, December 15, 2005

Giant Blimp Goes High-Tech

(from Gizmodo) "...the Defense Department wants to put the blimp to a worthy use (other than circling football games) and has decided to put hundreds of millions of dollars into a new fleet of military airships. Go, blimp, go! Seems the military has promised a $149 million contract to Lockheed to build a huge high-altitude airship that will check for ballistic missile launches. Using solar cells and advanced fuel cells for power, an aerodynamic design and a control system must be developed to help keep the airship steady amid the high winds at that altitude without consuming excessive power. Also, because it’s filled with helium, they’d have to make sure the temperature wouldn’t affect it, and want to find materials to withstand extreme ultraviolet radiation for longer times. It’s going to be big, too — about 2.5 times the length of the Goodyear Blimp. Look for prototypes around 2010."

Link [Defensetech]

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