I am interested in the challenges that Solar Balloons face when flying. For example, the high altitude could cause drastic changes in:

  • Wind speed
  • Temperature
  • Moisture

How does the unique design of a solar balloon address these challenges?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Engineering Stack Exchange! I've edited your post to make it more clear, but it could fundamentally change what you were asking. Please review and edit if I misinterpreted it. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Jul 3, 2018 at 21:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What are the ongoing projects on high altitude solar ballooning? $\endgroup$ Jul 4, 2018 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ Feel free to edit the question again if my edit was not accurate. Just trying to take your very good and appropriate question and make it more in a firm that is acceptable to be on this site. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Jul 4, 2018 at 14:22

2 Answers 2


I think you are asking about how the blimp is maneuvered or functions? Wind currents are widely used and is not that turbulent not to cause damage unless you guide it into a lightning storm or hurricane even then it could get high enough to be safe. Here is a picture of the altitude and wind direction: enter image description here


To change direction the blimp in many cases the blimp would only have to change altitude.

enter image description here

Not Photo shopped Airship Yuanmeng. enter image description here

Related: The helium in the balloon only needs to be heated to raise the altitude in some models. This model not built yet suggest to do this by having a transparent side of the balloon/blimp facing the sun.

enter image description here https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stratobus_artiste.jpg

I deduct that a parabolic shape could be designed to heat an inner dome filled with a breathable oxygen/helium atmosphere supplying warm air to the passengers.

Instead of heating the hydrogen have an air compressor to compress the air to land and regulate pressure and use heat to gain more height.

Make the whole balloon transparent an put everything outside it that can be inside and make those part like the framework on the outside on the inside with a wider surface area that gets hot.

enter image description here

Related: https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/26429/can-air-pressure-be-accumulated-this-way-for-a-biodome-or-spacesuit

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your answer was helpful. What are the ongoing commercial projects on high altitude solar ballooning? $\endgroup$ Jul 4, 2018 at 7:23
  • $\begingroup$ @AnanyoBhattacharya thank you and plus 3 for you to. I will look at other commercial uses but at the moment it is mostly used for spying, weather and later as a passenger vehicle one day. $\endgroup$
    – user4139
    Jul 5, 2018 at 15:43

As long as the density of the air inside the solar balloon is less than the density of the air outside the balloon, the balloon will stay afloat. This is the principle of buoyancy.

Regarding wind speed, if the balloon has been made strong enough wind will not be a issue.

Likewise with atmospheric moisture. The moisture only affects the atmospheric air and will only change the density of the atmospheric air. Increases in atmospheric moisture will increase the density of the atmosphere which will assist buoyancy of the balloon.

In 2011, French scientists launched a solar balloon from the French base in Antarctica. The balloon rose to an altitude of 14 000 m (46 000 ft). Rising from one cold location to an even colder location was not an issue.


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