Aeros has come up with a new project named Pelicanto, which aims at reducing fuel and helium usage on airships and blimps. Currently, the major problem faced by the airships is maintaining its buoyancy as it requires an enormous amount of fuel. The Pelican project effectively addresses the problem by a compression system, called Control of Static Heaviness, or COSH.
Airships currently use helium as fuel to counterbalance the weight to control balance. As the fuel burns the ship’s weight is reduced creating an imbalance and the ship is put into the atmosphere. However, the ship must then release expensive helium/fuel into the atmosphere to stay at this level which results in wastage of the precious helium. It is in this context, the project Pelican becomes significant.
Instead of wasting helium, the COSH compression system developed by Aeros helps airships to stay at the cruising level.
Let’s check out how it works. The airships are built with a rigid airframe surrounded by a membrane and within the membrane there are pressurized helium tanks, which can vary weight by turning the pressure up or down to make them heavier or lighter.
In this way, the pressurized tanks considerably reduce the need for excess fuel required just to maintain the altitude. Aeros’ Pelican ship, a 230 foot long, 600,000 cubic foot vehicle, will be tested with this pressurized COSH system in 2012-2013. The project is expected to be of great benefit for military purposes and it will be funded by the Pentagon’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office.