Public Lab Research note

Balloon Kite design and prototype

by valerie | April 21, 2012 22:39 21 Apr 22:39 | #1741 | #1741

My first EcoHack today and what fun! Armed with my old-school architectural design skills, I scavenged some materials for two different prototypes and got to work.

The first was a rip-stop nylon cover, consisting of two oval piece connected by a rectangular band in between, which would hold and protect the helium balloon. In this version, the exterior cover would be sewn by machine except for a small area to insert the balloon which would be need to be closed after inflation. (materials used: trash bag and packaging tape)

The second prototype was an exterior structure (imagine above) which would allow the helium balloon to be inserted and inflated after the entire structure was complete. (materials used: shopping bag handles, coffee stirs, string and packaging tape)

Along the way a third prototype was created, similar to the cover I described above minus the rectangular connector. In this mock-up the challenge was to attach a tail to the balloon to measure and indicate wind direction. We came up with an idea in which the lightweight tail was attached by a belt around the balloon itself, allowing stability and security without compromising the protective cover.

All prototypes were successful in the studio today - now it's time to test them in the air! Thank you, EcoHack!!


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