CLEVELAND , Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- An aerostat, which is a fabric balloon shaped like an airship, was launched today by SkySentry LLC in conjunction with the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI). The two entities and their university partners are the primary members of the AeroCentric Federation, whose goal is to advance the technologies necessary for the development of high-altitude intelligence gathering capabilities, according to W. Anthony Abdullah , OAI project manager.
The joint vision for the AeroCentric Federation is to coordinate the collaboration of public and private enterprises when designing incrementally progressive testing capabilities for remote sensing and communications technologies that can solve the nation's critical need for persistent presence. These capabilities have a broad range of applications including military, telecommunication, agriculture, and emergency search and rescue.
"The greatest benefit derived from deploying a portable aerostat over an area is the ability during emergencies to immediately restore communications or survey a disaster site and assess any threat before sending in rescue workers," said Doug Miller , chief of operations, SkySentry.
The first initiative of AeroCentric Federation is to fly in daylight a 23,000 cubic foot tethered aerostat 1,000 feet above ground level at NASA Glenn Research Center's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. The objective is to develop a proof of concept and a demonstration of the safe and effective operation of both the aerostat and the various payloads.
As operational experience builds and funding becomes available, AeroCentric Federation will fly experiments at higher altitudes, with heavier payloads and include night time hours, making the initiative incrementally progressive. Ultimately, the payloads will be deployed and tested on stratospheric vehicles, which will be stationed at altitudes between 60,000 and 100,000 feet. Beneficiaries of the testing include, but are not limited to, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and various entities interested in environmental monitoring and emergency management.
National leaders in aerospace research are teaming with Ohio universities and a community college to support this effort with staffing and other resources; as team members include: US Army Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab, the Ohio Aerospace Institute, SkySentry LLC, Western DataCom, the NASA Glenn Research Center, the University of Cincinnati , the University of Toledo and the Lorain County Community College.
"We've assembled the best and brightest," said Abdullah. "Homeland security remains a priority. The investments in it can also lead to spin-off technologies that benefit our nation's technological competitiveness, while ensuring markets can securely conduct the business of our citizens."
More information on AeroCentric Federation can be found at www.oai.org.
The Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) is a non profit organization that works to build Ohio's aerospace economy through research and technology development, education and training, and collaboration and information exchange.
SOURCE Ohio Aerospace Institute