Lighter Than Air (LTA) airships have unique ability to expand trade and commerce to even the most remote portions of Planet Earth. No need for infrastructure such as roads, airfield, harbors with wharves and docks, etc., and no need for a ground crew to assist in takeoff or landing. Even the northern regions serviced by trucks driving on ice roads are accessible for airships all year round, while the truck access on ice roads is limited to a few months, and access time for trucks is growing shorter every year as global warming progresses.
HOW AIRSHIPS FLY
Airships fly when they are at neutral buoyancy. That is, they can hold their elevation without the need for any energy or force being applied. Our airships have several ways to achieve neutral buoyancy:
- Ballast – Add ballast to go down, dump ballast to go up
- Density Controlled Buoyancy (DCB)
- Compress gas to make it heavier, reduce its volume, and go down.
- De-compress gas to make it lighter, increase its volume, and go up.
- Gimbal mount the horizontal thrusters so that they can push the airship up or down, similar to helicopter performance.
- Add a dedicated vertical thruster.
- Dump lifting gas to go down, and generate lifting gas to go up.
Hot air balloons used fire to heat the air, which when heated becomes lighter than ambient air, and can be used as lifting gas. This allows them to go up. Sand is used as ballast as it is heavier than the same volume of water, and will not cause damage to objects below when it is released.
NEW METHODS FOR MODIFIYING BALLAST AND LIFTING GAS WHEN ALOFT
We have developed methods for accomplishing this by the use of water.
- Water can be taken aboard by condensing it from the atmosphere using a process known as Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG). Thus, you can make the airship heavier while in flight.
- Additional lifting gas in the form of hydrogen can be obtained from the water on board by the process of electrolysis, which converts liquid water into gaseous hydrogen and oxygen.
SCENARIOS FOR CARGO TRANSPORT
- Our airship is flying at neutral buoyancy. It has separate horizontal and vertical thrusters, so it can very easily position itself over any load to be lifted. Cables attached to winches on board the Airship are connected to the load. If the load weighs 20,000 lbs, the Airship needs to do the follow:
- Release water ballast, such as letting it flow into a ground based holding tank, or simply dropping the water.
- Increase lifting gas by generating hydrogen from water, or piping it on board from containers on the ground.
- Use the thrusters on board to provide the needed lift, just as if it were a helicopter. The airship mimics the performance of a helicopter in every possible way, with the exception that in the event of a total loss of power, the helicopter crashes, while the airship just floats there, unmoving.
Our airship has gone back to neutral buoyancy while in flight from the pickup point. It now arrives at the drop-off location, and has gently lowered its cargo to the ground or the deck of a ship. The tension in the lifting cables is still 20,000 lbs. This tension needs to be reduced to zero before the Airship releases the cable. It has 3 ways to do this:
- Take on water ballast, such as pumping it from a ground based holding tank.
- Reduce lifting gas by simply dumping it into the atmosphere, or piping it into containers on the ground.
- Use the thrusters on board to provide the needed down thrust, just as if it were a helicopter. DISCUSSION The scenario detailed above could