Dynamic response of a high altitude tethered balloon system
Journal of Aircraft, 46, (6), . (doi:10.2514/1.43332).
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This paper illustrates a procedure to calculate the response of a tethered spherical aerostat to gusts, including the
effect of structural nonlinearity and accounting for some of the fluid–structure interaction between the aerostat and
tether line. The procedure developed and presented here is based on a full three-dimensional dynamic finite element
model, with aerodynamic loads calculated from the relative velocity between a time-varying input airflow and
resulting structural velocities. Exact solutions for the static response and a simplified dynamic model, both developed
to validate the results of the procedure illustrated in this paper, are also derived and described in detail. The dynamic
responses to gusts are compared with the equivalent steady-state solution to assess the approximations of the static
solutions. Particular emphasis is placed on the output rotation of the aerostats to quantify disturbances on the
pointing stability produced by gusts.
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