CLIMATE AND WEATHER MONITORING

Helikites are exceptionally good at lifting many types weather data instruments to high altitudes

Helikites are undoubtedly by far the best tethered aircraft for weather monitoring and significantly contribute towards improving climate change modelling. 

Helikites can fly in very high winds that defeat other aerostats, high altitude balloons or kites. This means that scientists can guarantee they will get data at whenever they wish. Before Helikites existed, this sort of timeliness was impossible and so much data was not collected.


Even the smallest of tethered balloon Helikites can fly thousands of feet high, far above the capabilities of other types of tethered airborne platform of similar size. This enables many areas of the sky that could not be reached before to be sensitively and persistently measured. Previously, getting to this part of the sky would require an expensive aircraft that would also heavily disturb the atmosphere thus making many measurements invalid.


Small Helikites can be kept inflated in the back of a car and flown high into the sky within seconds. Bigger Helikites can be flown from the ground, trailers, pick-up trucks, boats and ships.
 

Helikite Follows the Clouds Across the Atlantic

In the spring of 2019 a 250m3 Desert Star Helikite was flown at over 5,000ft into the clouds, from a Max Planck Institute research ship all the way across the Atlantic from Rio-de-Janeiro to Portugal. Almost constantly flying for a period of 25 days, the Helikite lifted approximately 40Kg of highly sensitive instruments that measured cloud droplets using lasers. A smaller 34m3 Desert Star Helikite was also utilised. This significantly contributed to the understanding of cloud droplet formation necessary to improve climate computer models. This investigation was not possible using any other type of airborne platform. Another trip from Portugal to the Caribbean is planned for winter 2020.

Cloud Research blimp Max Planck
Climate change research by sea and sky
Helikite Measures Cloud Droplets Above Swiss Mountains

In 2018 the Swiss research organisation ETH used a 175m3 Desert Star Helikite to lift 30Kg of instruments up to 5,000ft above a mountain to calibrate cloud droplets using laser technology. This was very successful as the Helikite held the instrument very steadily even in the strong and turbulent winds above the mountain and good results were obtained. This research is ongoing.

Climate Change research EU -Meteorology
Helikite Measures Cloud Droplets Above Swiss Mountains

Helikites from 2m3 up to 16m3 are very good at lifting multiple tethersondes on their flying line, because of their ability to fly reliably in the turbulent lower atmosphere where boundary layer research needs to be undertaken. These tethersondes send real-time information down to a ground station thus giving excellent data on turbulence.


Little is known about how the boundary layer affects the weather and climate so a cheap, quick and easy solution to this problem is very welcome.

Miniature Weather Instruments Give Fast Accurate Data When Flown from Small Helikites

Large, expensive aerostats are certainly not needed to obtain first class weather data when using Helikites. The superb and highly accurate range of Kestral 5500 hand-held weather monitors can easily be lifted on the 2m3 Skyshot Helikite using the standard tripod mount. This small Helikite will fly the Kestral to over 1,000ft with ease. An 11m3 Skyhook Helikite could take it to 5,000ft. 

The waterproof Kestral 5500 can measure: 

  • Heading (true & magnetic)

  • Wind direction

  • Crosswind

  • Headwind/tailwind

  • Altitude

  • Pressure trend

  • Barometric pressure

  • Wet bulb temperature

  • Relative humidity in %

  • Heat stress index 

  • Dewpoint

  • Density altitude

  • Wind chill

  • Air, water, and snow temperature °F or °C

  • Current, average, and maximum air velocity

  • Time and date

Allsopp Helikites Ltd

Unit 2, Fordingbridge Business Park, Fordingbridge, Hampshire. SP6 1BD England UK

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