Removing Orbital Debris with Less Risk

Deorbit concepts have been proposed for dealing with the growing problems posed by orbital debris. Most devices use large structures that interact with the atmosphere, magnetic field, or solar environment to deorbit large objects more rapidly than natural decay. Some devices may be better than others relative to the likelihood of collisions during their use. Current guidelines attempt […]

Aerodynamic and Mission Performance of a Winged Balloon Guidance System

A winged balloon guidance system exploits the natural wind-field variation with the altitude available in planetary atmospheres to generate passive lateral control forces on a balloon using a tether-deployed aerodynamic surface below the balloon. Several balloon guidance system topics are discussed,including development status,physics and aerodynamics,systems performance, concept of operations,and the near-space applications of this technology for scientific,communications,and defense applications. […]

Dakota, a First Principles-based Battery Simulation and Modeling System

ABSTRACT Global Aerospace Corporation (GAC), in collaboration with its research partners, has been developing a state-of-the-art, object-oriented, first-principles-based simulation system, called Dakota, that can reproduce the actual behavior and performance of Li-Ion cells and batteries under a variety of operating conditions. As a desktop modeling and simulation system, Dakota is designed to describe and predict performance under various operational modes and environments. The […]

Human Mars Exploration Transportation: Bridging Concept of Operations

A bridging architecture between a sustained Lunar exploration architecture and a sustained Mars transportation architecture is presented. The Mars architecture assumes sustained Mars operations as a final goal. A bridging Mars exploration transportation Concept of Operations (CONOPS) was developed. We describe the needed Earth/Moon system architecture, the sustained Mars system infrastructure, and the bridging Mars transportation infrastructure. Three trade space […]

An Express Transportation Architecture for Human Mars Exploration

If future plans for human space travel include recurring visits to a Mars Base for research and exploration, an efficient and fast transportation system will be crucial for rotating crews back and forth between Earth and Mars and to resupply needed equipment and fuels. An innovative interplanetary transportation architecture is described that uses highly autonomous, solar-powered, ion-propelled Astronaut Hotels, […]


ABSTRACT A lightweight solar array pointing system is under development for application to balloons. The system suspends solar panels from their corners by cables. By raising and lowering diagonally opposite corners, the parallel solar panels can be simultaneously pointed to any point more than 20 degrees above horizontal. The system acts as a two-dimensional Venetian blind. The system eliminates the need for slip rings, […]

Mars 2001 Aerobot/Balloon System Overview

Abstract In late 1995, a study was initiated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of a 2001 Mars Aerobot/Balloon System (MABS) Mission Participants included NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (LMA), the French Space Agency (CNES) Toulouse Space Center, NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), and Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) plus numerous industrial partners. The purposes of the study […]


The Venus Geoscience Aerobot Mission Study (VEGAS) was a four-month analysis of a semiautonomous, altitude-controlled balloon mission to Venus. The study focuses on a Delta launch in the 2007 timeframe, with a nominal 100-day balloon mission and orbiter telecom relay. After the initial balloon and payload deployment in the Venusian atmosphere, the balloon is capable of repeated excursions from altitudes of 60 […]