A buoyant tornado-probe concept incorporating an inverted lifting device
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1973 - Nature - 28 pages
Addition of an inverted lifting device to a simple balloon probe is shown to make possible low-altitude entry to tornado cores with easier launch conditions than for the simple balloon probe. Balloon-lifter combinations are particularly suitable for penetration of tornadoes with average to strong circulation, but tornadoes of less than average circulation which are inaccessible to simple balloon probes become accessible. The increased launch radius which is needed for access to tornadoes over a wide range of circulation results in entry times of about 3 minutes. For a simple balloon probe the uninflated balloon must be first dropped on, or near, the track of the tornado from a safe distance. The increase in typical launch radius from about 0.75 kilometer to slightly over 1.0 kilometer with a balloon-lifter combination suggests that a direct air launch may be feasible.
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0.75 kilometer access to tornadoes aerodynamic force angle of attack approximation average to strong average tornado balloon and lifter balloon volume balloon-lifter combination buoyancy force CD,BSB CD,KSK centrifugal cloud base combinations are particularly core entry cores with easier curve density of buoyancy density scale height drag coefficients easier launch conditions entry to tornado equation 18 equations 9 equations of motion figure 9 flight-path angle float altitude forms of lifter inverted lifting device Langley Research Center large lifter lift and drag lift coefficient lift-drag ratio mass density motion equations paraglider parawing possible low-altitude entry quasi-equilibrium radial and vertical radial buoyancy radii radius of 0.8 range of tornado relative wind Rogallo Sb/Sk shown in figure side of equation simple balloon probe sketch strong tornado tether angle tether tension tornado cores tornado strength tornado winds tornadoes with average trajectory uninflated balloon values of Rg velocity vertical buoyancy weak tornado