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High Altitude Gas Balloon Trajectory Prediction - a Monte Carlo Model

High Altitude Gas Balloon Trajectory Prediction - a Monte Carlo Model
High Altitude Gas Balloon Trajectory Prediction - a Monte Carlo Model
The high altitude gas balloon is an indispensable tool in atmospheric science, meteorology and other applications requiring stratospheric observations. A pre-requisite of
the effectiveness of many types of balloon operations is an accurate trajectory forecasting capability. In particular, targeted flights, sample return missions or
flights of expensive instruments (whose recovery is essential) rely on such models. In this paper we describe
a new balloon flight simulation model, which takes into account a range of environmental, physical and operational uncertainties to generate a predicted trajectory equipped with landing site location error estimates. A key source of error in such models is our incomplete understanding of the drag opposing the rise of balloons in the free atmosphere - here we propose a new, stochastic drag model based on empirical data derived from thousands of radiosonde
flights. We also examine other sources of prediction error affecting the accuracy of the flight path forecast, such as uncertainties in the wind profile and balloon envelope manufacturing variability. We show how integrating these elements into a process that generates Monte Carlo ensembles of simulated trajectories has yielded a practically useful flight planning tool, which we have made available to the ballooning community as a free online service.
0001-1452
832-842
Sobester, Andras
096857b0-cad6-45ae-9ae6-e66b8cc5d81b
Czerski, Helen
8704500e-b00f-41c0-bfa3-b5f08e7e39d6
Zapponi, Niccolo
be086dda-b71b-4525-9350-cdf5cc4bf816
Castro, I.P.
66e6330d-d93a-439a-a69b-e061e660de61
Sobester, Andras
096857b0-cad6-45ae-9ae6-e66b8cc5d81b
Czerski, Helen
8704500e-b00f-41c0-bfa3-b5f08e7e39d6
Zapponi, Niccolo
be086dda-b71b-4525-9350-cdf5cc4bf816
Castro, I.P.
66e6330d-d93a-439a-a69b-e061e660de61

Sobester, Andras, Czerski, Helen and Zapponi, Niccolo et al. (2014) High Altitude Gas Balloon Trajectory Prediction - a Monte Carlo Model. AIAA Journal, 52 (4), 832-842. (doi:10.2514/1.J052900).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The high altitude gas balloon is an indispensable tool in atmospheric science, meteorology and other applications requiring stratospheric observations. A pre-requisite of
the effectiveness of many types of balloon operations is an accurate trajectory forecasting capability. In particular, targeted flights, sample return missions or
flights of expensive instruments (whose recovery is essential) rely on such models. In this paper we describe
a new balloon flight simulation model, which takes into account a range of environmental, physical and operational uncertainties to generate a predicted trajectory equipped with landing site location error estimates. A key source of error in such models is our incomplete understanding of the drag opposing the rise of balloons in the free atmosphere - here we propose a new, stochastic drag model based on empirical data derived from thousands of radiosonde
flights. We also examine other sources of prediction error affecting the accuracy of the flight path forecast, such as uncertainties in the wind profile and balloon envelope manufacturing variability. We show how integrating these elements into a process that generates Monte Carlo ensembles of simulated trajectories has yielded a practically useful flight planning tool, which we have made available to the ballooning community as a free online service.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 28 February 2014
Published date: April 2014
Organisations: Computational Engineering & Design Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 364383
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/364383
ISSN: 0001-1452
PURE UUID: 2dee4732-1081-44da-ad79-3127517b2f44
ORCID for Andras Sobester: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8997-4375

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Date deposited: 24 Apr 2014 15:09
Last modified: 12 Nov 2019 01:50

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