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Controlling helium balloon attitude

  1. Mar 5, 2012 #1

    Is it possible to control the attitude of helium balloons without cutting the balloons or dropping the weight? (e.g. using a remote control to control "something" to adjust the attitude)

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    You can use a tank, pump and valve.
  4. Mar 5, 2012 #3
    thx for the reply russ.

    Can you give me more information?

    If I have a tank fill with helium, it is part of the system. Releasing the gas from the tank is like cutting some of the balloons. If I want to move up again, the system cannot get extra helium back from the sky.

    If I pump/release air (instead of helium or other material that is lighter than air), it can adjust the over all system weight a little bit, but it should not enough to adjust the attitude. Is that right?

  5. Mar 5, 2012 #4


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    Homework Helper

    I'm pretty sure he meant to use the tank to move the higher density helium from the tank into the balloon, and a pump to move the lower density helium in the balloon back in to the tank. The balloon would expand or contract depending on how much helium was in the balloon, and the tanks expansion or contraction would not be significant.

    You'd have a side issue with the balloon expanding due to lower pressure of the atmoshpere at higher altitudes.
  6. Mar 5, 2012 #5
    You have a bladder in the main balloon that you can pump air in or out off.
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