Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) Systems

Our engineers perform design, analysis, development, and testing of lighter-than-air (LTA) autonomous vehicles for military and scientific applications. We also design, fabricate, and integrate high-pressure hydraulic and gas systems for industrial and aerospace applications. Our LTA test capabilities include subsystem-level, integrated, and flight testing. Subsystem testing includes functional, thermal altitude, load, electromagnetic compatibility, and shock and vibration. Integrated testing includes system function, communications, autonomous navigation, and flight termination systems. Flight testing covers all stages, including launch and ascent, pressures and temperatures, venting, ballast, communications, energy generation and storage, autonomous navigation, propulsion, flight termination, and recovery.


LTA Capabilities

Design Capabilities

  • Complete balloon systems
  • Complete high-altitude airship systems
  • Super-pressure hull designs
  • Thermal and stress analysis
  • Command and control electronics
  • Sensors
  • Telemetry systems
  • Communication systems
  • Tracking systems
    • GPS
    • ARGOS
  • Precision inflation systems
  • Ballast and venting systems
  • Energy storage systems
  • Solar arrays
  • Power management
  • Autonomous navigation
  • Airship propulsion systems
  • Termination and recovery systems
  • Ground stations and data display
  • Antenna pointing systems

Fabrication Capabilities

  • SwRI-procured
    • Super pressure balloons
    • High-altitude airship hulls
    • Recovery parachute systems
  • SwRI fabrication
    • Electronic subsystems
    • Ballast subsystems
    • Venting systems
    • Communications systems
    • Solar arrays
    • Energy storage
    • Propulsion system
  • Integrate compete balloons and airships


Testing Capability


  • Subsystem testing
    • Functional
    • Thermal altitude
    • Load
    • Electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC)
    • Shock and vibration
  • Integrated testing
    • System level functional
    • Communications
    • Autonomous navigation
    • Flight termination systems
  • Flight test
    • Launch and ascent
    • Pressures and temperatures
    • Venting
    • Ballast
    • Communications
    • Energy generation and storage
    • Autonomous navigation
    • Propulsion
    • Flight termination
    • Recovery