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DARPA provides funding for Aeros' ballast-free airship weight control system

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November 2, 2007

Aeroscraft ML866

Aeroscraft ML866

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November 2, 2007 An integral part of the exciting ML866 "superyacht for the sky", Aeros’ Control of Static Heaviness (COSH) system allows airships to adjust their weight in mid-flight without the use of a traditional ballast material. After successful initial tests of the controversial system, Aeros has been awarded funding by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for further demonstrations.

Under the program, Aeros will carry out the conceptual design, technology development, hardware development and bench demonstration, finalizing with the flight demonstration of the system on the FAA type certified Aeros 40D non-rigid airship.

The COSH system enables an airship’s weight to be controlled without using a traditional ballast. This means the aircraft’s buoyancy can be controlled more precisely than before. It is thought to operate by compressing helium to add weight, and decompressing it to lighten the craft, but details are sketchy, and skeptics openly wonder whether onboard machinery can compress the gas fast enough to operate effectively.

COSH technology is viewed by DARPA as having the potential to open new possibilities and further advance all kinds of lighter-than-air air vehicles including, high altitude and stratospheric airships, aerostats, conventional airships and new very heavy lift buoyancy assisted air vehicles in support of Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and other agencies’ needs.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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