Research group airs aerostat over Portsmouth [NH] airport.
Those wondering what the blimp is that has been hovering over Portsmouth International Airport now have the answer.
Airport manager Bill Hopper said an aeronautical research group out of Boston is deploying a research aerostat at the airport to study the flight characteristics of aerostats.
A type of tethered, lighter-than-air platform, aerostats are commonly used to lift communication and monitoring payloads. The research group is aiming to develop more robust and resilient aerostat systems than those in use today. Its goal is safer and more economical operations in both defense and commercial applications.
The experimental system deployed at Portsmouth International Airport employs a helium-filled, urethane hull that is approximately 45 feet in length. It is equipped with a number of environmental and inertial sensors that monitor the motion of the system in response to atmospheric conditions. The system will be deployed outside hangar 229 periodically over the next several months.