(July 31, 2021) Design and Development of Lighter-Than-Air Systems: Making Balloons Fly and Float!

When:  Jul 31, 2021 from 09:00 to 11:00 (PT)
Associated with  Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section
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Design and Development of Lighter-Than-Air Systems
Making Balloons Fly and Float
Prof. Rajkumar S. Pant
Lighter-Than-Air Systems Laboratory, Aerospace Engineering Department
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai

Saturday, July 31, 2021, 9 AM PDT (US and Canada) (GMT-0700)
An AIAA LA-LV Zoom Webinar / Online Section Meeting

Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) systems are aerial platforms that overcome gravity primarily by the buoyancy force acting on them due to a lighter-than-air gas (e.g., Hydrogen or Helium) enclosed in their envelopes. The two main types of LTA systems are Tethered Aerostats and Airships; both of which are ideally suited for missions involving prolonged aerial observation of any activity (e.g., aerial coverage of sporting events, or security patrolling), product promotion. Aerostats can be used as platforms for several scientific and commercial applications such as remote sensing, measurement of local wind profiles, solar irradiation.

Design development and flight testing of prototypes of several LTA systems has been carried out at the Lighter-Than-Air systems Laboratory of IIT Bombay for nearly two decades. Several outdoor remotely controlled airships and tethered aerostat systems have been designed, fabricated and field tested. The laboratory has a facility for in-house fabrication of the LTA envelopes using an RF sealing machine. More than 80 students from 25 different universities in India and abroad have successfully completed their research projects and/or internships in this Laboratory, for periods ranging from two-months to a year. International tie-ups with Texas A&M University (TAMU), USA, Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA), Brazil and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore have been accomplished. Several R & D projects have been carried out or are in progress in this Laboratory. Some idea of the past projects can be obtained from www.aero.iitb.ac.in/~airships (formerly http://www.aero.iitb.ac.in/~ltasys), and the YouTube Channel, viz., http://shorturl.at/qDJPU.

The aim of this talk is to expose the audience to the latest developments in the area of conceptual design, sizing, design, development and flight/field testing of LTA Systems. The talk will also showcase some of the research and development activities that have been carried out in the LTA systems Laboratory of IIT Bombay. Some projects that have been taken up by students and interns will also be highlighted, which have resulted in technical papers in national and international conferences.

$0 (FREE) for Attendees from India
(Registrants from India will be required to type in a statement to confirm with honesty during registration if they would indeed be attending the event from India.)

Other Attendees:
$2.95: AIAA Professional Member
$5.95: Non-AIAA Member - Professional
$1.95: AIAA Educator Member
$4.95: Non-AIAA Member - Educator
$1.45: AIAA University Student Member
$4.45: Non-AIAA Member - University Student
$0 (No Charge): AIAA High School (HS) Student Member, Non AIAA Member HS Student, and other K-12 Student
(Those Student registrants will be required to type in a statement during registration to confirm with honesty they are indeed High School or K-12 Students.)
$2.95: AIAA Member - Other Categories
$5.95: Non-AIAA Member - Other Categories
Prof. Rajkumar S. Pant has Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering. His areas of specialization include Aircraft Conceptual Design, Air Transportation, and Optimization. He has been a member of faculty of Aerospace Engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay since December 1989.

Prof. Pant is an alumnus of College of Aeronautics, Cranfield University, UK, where he earned his Ph.D. under Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme, and IIT Madras, where he did his Masters in Aeronautical Engineering. He has also worked for five years in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the Design & Engineering Department at Kanpur (3½ years) and Nasik (1½ years) Divisions.

In 2002, he set up a Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) systems laboratory at IIT Bombay, which has undertaken several R&D and Consultancy projects related to design, development and demonstration of LTA systems. Since 2007, he has been an international member of AIAA’s Lighter-Than-Air Technical Committee, and was the Chairperson for 2014-16. He has published and presented 250 scientific papers, of which 150 are in international conferences. He has also visited several top-ranking Institutes and Universities all over the world.

Prof. Pant has been a Visiting Professor at School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore for a year in 2016. Earlier, he was appointed as a Special Visiting Researcher during 2012-15 under the Science Without Borders program of the Brazilian Government for a project related to design and development of Hybrid Lighter-Than-Air systems. He has been a visiting faculty at Department of Aerospace & Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2010-11, and visiting researcher at Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica, Brazil in 2012, Texas A&M University in 2011, Cambridge University in 2008, and Imperial College London in 2006. He is an Adjunct Faculty or a Member of Board of Studies in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at ~ 10 universities in India.
Disclaimer: The views of the speakers do not represent the views of AIAA or the AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section

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