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Anti-aircraft mine

Intercontinental launching balloon bombs through jet stream
By Anna Farahmand and Michael Webber Feb 2012

“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” Nikola Tesla

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I would say that I am very curious to solve problems and simplify high technologies to be understandable by every one. That's been apparent since I was very young. If there was something around the house that needed to be fixed or wasn't right (at least in my mind), I couldn't think about anything else except solving that problem. My parents would sometimes call this a "wild hair." I guess you could say that building and launching a balloon for special puposes became a wild hair of mine, because once the idea came to me, there wasn't anything that was going to stop me from doing it. I was a teen when I had started reading a really excellent biography of Benjamin Franklin by H.W. Brands. I think that reading about Franklin's lifelong passion for experimentation and invention reawakened my own passion, because not long after I started reading the book, I had a dream about building my own balloon with special payload. The idea came to me in late August, and was inspired by a number of different factors. In that time, I was living in a small city and my hobbies were studding and working at my own small chemistry lab. The Franklin's experiment with kit and my knowledge of making chemical encouraged me to make a balloon filled with hydrogen gas and small explosive and delay igniter as payload. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted the balloon to do. A day after when I woke I told my idea to my friends who were all young teens and believed in my plan. So I asked them to provide my primary requirements such as zinc or iron slug, sulfuric acid, 100 liter plastic bag. As iron metal reacts so slowly with diluted sulfuric acid, I decided to use the zinc. The metal that wasn’t easily available in our small town that time, so I searched for a new resource and I found it in dry batteries. They have a very pure container of zinc that can easily be dismantled. Every one gathered wasted batteries and we started separation of zinc from them. It took some hours! I have already prepared explosive powder of highly pulverized potassium permanganate, aluminum powder and sulfur with the volume ratios 4:3:1 respectively to emit an intensive visible signal. I also used a cotton wick for long delay, because the sky wasn’t cloudy or rainy to extinguish it and a small piece of nitrated cotton was used as a relay to activate explosive powder. One of my friends brought a big bottle for reacting zinc with the acid to conduct hydrogen gas to the bag. While the bag gradually filled with gas, every one wanted to know what will happen next and I answered them calmly “be patient and see” Finally the bag filled enough to carry my payload and I tied the bag to the payload. We carefully ignited the cotton wick and launched the balloon. The balloon rose rapidly and disappeared in the darkness of night but five minutes later an intensive flash lit up the night. Every one embraced me and enjoyed of what we did together. I enjoyed it but there was fear on the inside.” Potential hazards of such experiment”; because mad science means never stopping to ask "What's the worst that could happen?" A few days later I met some

neighborhood friends away from the test while they were talking about a mysterious object in the sky that exploded and disappeared. I didn’t tell them anything about what I did and I didn’t say about my experience to any one till some years ago; maybe because of moral reason. But I believe that anything even moral reasons are not permanent and absolute. So I decided to develop the idea and publish all features beyond it. In this paper that was inspired by nature I am going to introduce Defence systems using nature. Among them are balloon bombs used for air defense or launching them through jet stream. It is surprising that aerial barrages are not mentioned in the history books and you can’t find any useful information about them on the web. That’s why I am interested to publish this document. Till now I have published an article titled “mass destruction of ozone layer; an analytical approach to future weather weapons” and the document presented here is my second work to show more potential hazards of such weapons and in a new document that will be published soon I will explain how to use balloon to establish a new communication system as improvised networking. My future project based on nature will explain how to use nature to disable over 80% of dropping bombs or missiles with the lowest cost except those with the nuclear warheads. These are all my hobbies not necessarily my job or supporting of special groups. Although such documents are knife-edged but I believe they are useful for frightening Militant governments. They might be the passengers of next plane crash!

Anna Farahmand Feb. 2012

Before examining technical issues relating to anti-aircraft mines as an effective way to use in air defense, it is necessary to explain its history related to this technology. With the invention of the airplane in the early twentieth century and the development of this industry, the vulnerability of such invention was recognized by the phenomenen called, bird strik that is the risk of birds colliding with aircraft. Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety, and have caused a number of accidents with human casualties. [1] Bird strikes happen most often during takeoff or landing, or during low altitude flight.[2] However, bird strikes have also been reported at high altitudes, some as high as 6,000 m (20,000 ft) to 9,000 m (30,000 ft) above the ground.: According to the FAA wildlife hazard management manual for 2005, less than 8% of strikes occur above 900 m (3,000 ft) and 61% occur at less than 30 m (100 ft). The force of the impact on an aircraft depends on the weight of the animal and the speed difference and direction at the impact. The energy of the impact increases with the square of the speed difference. Hence a low-speed impact of a small bird on a car windshield causes relatively little damage. High speed impacts, as with jet aircraft, can cause considerable damage and even catastrophic to the vehicle. The energy of a 5 kg (11 lb) bird moving at a relative velocity of 275 km/h (171 mph) approximately equals the energy of a 100 kg (220 lb) weight dropped from a height of 15 meters (49 ft). Note however that the momentum (as distinct from the kinetic energy) of the bird in this example inconsiderably less than that of the tonne weight, and therefore the force required to deflect it is also considerably less. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates the problem costs US aviation 600 million dollars annually and has resulted in over 200 worldwide deaths since 1988. In the United Kingdom the Central Science Laboratory estimates that, worldwide, the cost of birdstrikes to airlines is around US$1.2 billion annually. This cost includes direct repair cost and lost revenue opportunities while the damaged aircraft is out of service. [3] Here are some pictures to see this event [4]:

Refrences: 1. Sodhi, Navjot S. (2002). "Competition in the air: birds versus aircraft." The Auk 119 (3): 587–595.doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2002)119[0587:CITABV]2.0.CO;2.[0587:CITABV]2.0.CO;2 2. Richardson, W. John (1994)."Serious birdstrike-related accidents to military aircraft of ten countries: preliminary analysis of circumstances" (PDF). Bird Strike Committee Europe BSCE 22/WP22, Vienna. WP21.pdf 3. 4. 4&idioma=1

Shooting down airplanes with balloons
Like all great armed conflicts, the Second World War brought an industrial and technological revolution to all warring nations. Oddly enough, despite the military innovation of that period, to fight bombings over cities and other strategic targets, armies turned to an 18th century invention: aerostats. Moored balloons played a key role in the defense of London, the Invasion of Normandy and the Battle of Moscow, where this system was employed in its most massive and sophisticated way. with the development of aviation and the first bombers, which had a rather low flight ceiling and lacked of bombsights to accurately drop their load, aerostats became useful for a new aim: to deny low-level flights by creating nets of moored balloons. The risk of crashing into the tethering cables or the balloons itself pushed enemy airplanes to fly at higher altitude to bomb their targets, thereby decreasing surprise and bombing accuracy while enhancing ground-based air defenses and intercepting fighters. The British Army was the first to use barrage balloons. During the last years of World War I barrage balloons were deployed to protect London against German bombers. Each one of those early barrages consisted of an apron of three blimps, 500 yards apart joined together by a heavy steel cable, which was raised up to 10,000 feet high. he balloons that protected London over a year had a very successful performance, since they practically denied the low-level attacks by the enemy bombers and allowed antiaircraft guns and RAF fighters to engage Luftwaffe planes in the narrow expanse of airspace left. The success achieved by the barrage balloons in the First World War led the British to use more than 2,000 of them during the Second one. Besides some technical improvements, the main change in the way of using barrage balloons was leaving aside the apron concept. Instead, single balloons were used because they could be sent aloft more quickly and were easier to operate. During those years balloons were not just used to protect London, but lots of other strategic sites like airfields, harbors and important buildings. A 20 meters long and 8 meters wide balloon above a specific target meant a great added hindrance to any attempt of dive bombing, like the ones carried out by the well known Stukas, which threw themselves into the targets to drop their bombs. Although since World War I the airplanes had improved their capacity to fly at high altitude, Nazis were still unhinged by the presence of barrage balloons and would try their best to destroy them by all possible means: from air missions devoted to shoot them down to equipping their bombers with all kinds of devices in order to dodge and cut the

anchoring cables. All those attempts turned out too costly and not much effective, since the fallen balloons were replaced shortly. Besides the Battle of Britain, the allies also used aerostats in several other occasions, like the defense of the US West Coast in 1942 or the deployment across northern Africa and the Mediterranean. Among all those occasions, the main turning point would be the Invasion of Normandy, when hundreds of ships sailed protected by barrage balloons to deter any attack from German planes. The USSR found inspiration in the British experience in World War I and the battle of Britain, and would decide to use aerostats to fight the massive bombings carried out by the Luftwaffe over Moscow during 1941 and 1942, in Hitler’s attempt to take the city. Soviet defenses against German air force were set up along three concentric circles: in a radius of 120 kilometers from Moscow city center were located several airfields in order to intercept German bombers within a range from 150 to 200 kilometers away from the capital, subsequently, in a radius of 35 kilometers, were deployed the first anti-aircraft guns, and finally, within a radius of 8 kilometers around the Kremlin, were scattered hundreds of barrage balloons following a chessboard pattern, covering all city center and the most important buildings. Each post of the net consisted of a 12 people team and 2 identical blimps, which would be sent aloft separately, reaching a maximum height of 8,200 feet, or in tandem mode, reaching a maximum height of 14,700 feet:

Diagram of barrage balloons used in tandem mode

Besides the benefits already mentioned, offered by the barrage balloons, Soviet blimps had mines attached to their anchoring cables. Thereby, in case a German plane struck a cable, it wouldn’t just get seriously damaged and crash, but may explode in the air after pulling the contact bomb against its fuselage. Since 1941 until the end of the Battle of Moscow, 120 German planes crashed due to impacts against the steel cables and 35 exploded in flight after detonating a hanging mine. Diagram:

As a result of the large amount of casualties, the Luftwaffe sent fighters to shoot down the barrage balloons, but they were replaced so quickly and Nazi planes used to receive such a heavy response by Soviet fighters and ground defenses that finally switched to night bombings. The Soviet response to jeopardize the enemy bombers was to keep the barrage balloons in the air at night and lower them before dawn. The total number of blimps deployed was over 3.000 units, which were sent aloft more than 300.000 times during the war. Luftwaffe lost over Moscow 491 planes, including those shot down by anti-aircraft guns and those brought down after crashing into barrage balloons. Another weapon used in middle of 20 century was devices called UP and AA Mine Discharger. UP was unrotated British Projectile rocket launched parachute aerial mine system for ship Defence.

The AA Mine Discharger was a Japanese anti-aircraft weapon of the Second World War. The device was a simple tube like an infantry mortar of 70 mm or 81 mm caliber. Instead of a standard mortar bomb, the projectile was a tube containing seven individual mines, each approximately 11/16ths of an inch in diameter (18 mm) and 3 inches (76 mm) long. Each mine was equipped with its own parachute. When fired, the mortar threw the shell to a range of 3,000 to 4,000 feet (900 to 1,200 m) and a maximum altitude of approximately 600 m. The shell ejected the mines at the top of its arc. They would then float down on their parachutes. They were fused to detonate on contact or after a fixed time period, damaging nearby aircraft. The weapon could also be used like a simple cluster bomb, by firing over enemy troops.


References: 1.Каторин Ю.Ф., Волковский Н.Л., Тарнавский В.В. Уникальная и парадоксальная военная техника — СПб.: Полигон, 2003. — 686 с. — ISBN 559173-238-6, УДК 623.4, ББК 68.8 К 29. 2. airplanes%20with%20balloons/ 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Advanced Airship Aerial Mine System. Document ID: 800125

Modern wars and anti-aircraft balloons
THE United States and its NATO investigated the Low-Level Threat and SAM Limitations which is published in the power journal in summer 1989. Barrage balloons disappeared after World War II as newer, more sophisticated air defense weapons were introduced. The threat from low-flying aircraft, however, continues to be a problem. Aerial barrages still offer a viable deterrent against this form of attack, and we should use them. The Falkland Islands War offers a solid example of the effectiveness of high-speed, lowaltitude tactics in negating SAMs. During the course of the war, British pilots flow even lower to break radar lock once their radar warning receiver indicated SAM activation, throughout the entire war, SAMs destroyed only two British aircraft. 6, 7 The barrage balloon was simply a bag of lighter-than-air gas attached to a steel cable anchored to the ground. The balloon could be raised or lowered to the desired altitude by means of a winch. Its purpose was ingenuous: to deny low-level airspace to enemy aircraft. This simple mission provided three major benefits: (1) It forced aircraft to higher altitudes, thereby decreasing surprise and bombing accuracy; (2) It enhanced ground-based air defenses and the ability of fighters to acquire targets, since intruding aircraft were limited in altitudes and direction (3) The cable presented a definite mental and material hazard to pilots.1 many people think that a barrage balloon system was designed to snare aircraft like a spider web capturing unwary flies. British and American experiences with barrage balloons reveal two major facts: (1) The low-level air threat is a continuing problem (2) Barrage balloons can aid in countering that threat. Therefore, it is rather surprising that aerial barrages are not mentioned in the history books. Balloons would be just as useful today as they were in the forties and would effectively complement the SAMs, rapid-fire AA guns, and fighters of the modern air defense system. Based on the performance of barrage balloons during World War II-when they successfully defended ports and factories from low-level attack--it seems logical to protect one of NATO's most important installations--the airfield. The Soviets fear the aerial might of the United States and its allies and will do everything possible to destroy it quickly and completely. Therefore, a massive low-level attack on NATO air bases, which many have called the Achilles' heel of air power, is a certainty. These

targets deserve extra protection, and barrage balloons offer that capability. As mentioned earlier, the barrage balloon offers several distinct advantages that have been proven in wartime: it denies the low altitude to enemy aircraft, enhances air defense systems, and presents a definite mental and material hazard to the enemy pilot. Aerial barriers are also cheap and durable. Aerial barriers are also cheap and durable. Wallop Industries of Great Britain has developed a balloon called the Skysnare, 2 and a barrage of six costs approximately $18,000. Maintenance and training are equally inexpensive, and the only "fuel', for the system would be the helium or hydrogen gas to lift the balloon.3 Considering the price tag of modern weapon systems and ammunition, the cost-effectiveness of the balloon is impressive. Consisting of a cable, a single-ply plastic envelope, and a winch, the system is extremely robust and can remain airborne for up to two weeks per inflation.3 The 4-mm Kevlar cable gives the Skysnare system extraordinary strength and destructive power should an aircraft strike the cable.4

Disadvantages: The advantages of the barrage balloon are many, but--as with any weapon system-- there are drawbacks. First, it is susceptible to high winds: during the Battle of Britain, a heavy gale destroyed or damaged approximately 250 balloons. Timely weather reports could help solve this problem. A second disadvantage of balloons is the fact that their very presence signals the enemy that a target must be nearby. This drawback was partially corrected in World War II by camouflaging both balloon and "balloon bed." Anyway their deterrent value more than compensates for its disadvantages. Last, balloon cables are indiscriminately hazardous-friendly aircraft may inadvertently be caught in them. However, Peter D. John suggests using "procedural control" to reduce the chance of a friendly aircraft's hitting a cable.5 This method worked very well during World War II when hundreds of friendly planes safety negotiated aerial barriers. In our search to build a better mousetrap, we often neglect the lessons of history. Technology has produced a marvel of engineering in the modern fighter plane, enabling it to fly higher, faster, and lower than ever before. In battle, the jet fighter's forte is highspeed, low-level attack--a tactic difficult to combat. The barrage balloon disappeared after World War II, but this capable asset deserves to be used again. Naturally suited to defend small, important areas, barrage balloons would be perfect for NATO's vital airfields. Col R. E. Turley, an American advocate of barrage balloons during World War II, emphasized the team approach to air defense in an article written in 1942: When employed alone, barrage balloons ordinarily would not be effective. . . In conjunction with other arms, barrage balloons constitute an element in the antiaircraft

defense system complementary to antiaircraft artillery and pursuit aviation, the balloons being most effective at low altitudes where the complementary arms are least efficient. Simply he stated: barrage balloons optimize air defenses.

References: 1. Tactics Department of the AAA School, "Notes for AA Tactics, " in Pamphlet 20, Barrage Balloons, 15 June 1943, 5-7. 2. "Tethered Anti-Aircraft Balloon," International Defense Review 20, no. 5 (1987): 687. 3. Wallop Systems Limited, "Rampart Low Level Defence System," London, 1987, an advertisement. 4. Jeffrey Ethell and Alfred Price, Air War South Atlantic (New York: Macmillan, 1983), 30. 5. History, 4 th Antiaircraft Command, 146. 6. Bruce W. Watson and Peter M. Dunn, eds., Military Lessons of the Falkland IslandsWar; Views from the United States (Boulder, Colo.; Westview Press, 1984), 45. 7. Lessons of the South Atlantic War, Proceedings of the Conference on the AngloArgentine War of 1982(Washington, D.C.; Defense & Foreign Affairs Ltd., 1982), 88.

Technical information about anti aircraft mine
Technology to build the balloon goes back over 200 years ago. Early balloons were empty bags filled with hot air made by burning torch, which was located in the lower part. These balloons are used today in various forms for different purposes such as travel, celebrations, etc. As described earlier, military balloons were actually used in the 19th century and early twentieth centuries and among them hydrogen balloon had the most lifting power. Since hydrogen gas is considered the world's lightest gas, so it has greatest difference density related to air than other gases and every cubic meter of this gas at sea level is able to raise more than one kilogram of payload from the Earth without using any fuel or propulsion system .The altitude of the Hydrogen balloon depends on air pressure, air temperature, balloon material and weight of payload .Tthe altitude is reduced with more payload weight. Hydrogen balloons could reach to very hight altitudes between 60,000 to 120,000 feet (18 to 37 km). They can even launch into what is termed "near space"—the area of Earth's atmosphere where there is very little air, but which is not high enough to be in the realm of satellites. Balloons are categorized into two types: Rigid that can fix its altitude Flexible which is made of latex and being inflated when is climbing up and its altitude alters with time. Weather balloons are made of a highly flexible latex material, though Chloroprene may also be used. It should be noted that hydrogen gas has a high penetration power and is able to leak out of the balloon wall. So balloons lose their height over time. But in an anti-aircraft mine leaking gas at the time of the operation is negligible. So, Anti-aircraft mines can be used in two different forms: fixed and mobile. Fixed type of balloons made of strong and rigid plastic material that is connected to motor at the ground by a string of Kevlar fibers. In the plan introduced here, the use of explosives with sufficient sensitivity in the 500 meter distance from each other along the towline is recommended. In practice, the high-speed collision between aircraft or missiles with hanging sensitive Explosive causes them to explode without any detonator. In this design the mine can be pulled down in non-emergency situations and be used frequently. If the mine is placed at an altitude of 5000 meters will capable to lift 10 shipments of explosives attached to the string in the 500 meter distance from each other. As 100 grams of sensitive high explosives is sufficient to destroy an aircraft completely, so a balloon with a volume of 2 cubic meters is sufficient for such purpose. Although Fiber weight and weight of the inflated balloon should be noted. Since an aircraft in a good condition and during a rotation in flight will pass over 500 meters of space, thus the distance between the shipments seems to be enough. Today as modern airplane have much more speed and pass the same space much faster than before, so the chance of collision with hanging mines increases dramatically. Another type of proposed mine is small balloon that is made of rubbery material such as latex and carry small shipment individually. This type of mines can be prepared in advance on the ground and connect to launching system which is a facility to charge them with hydrogen gas and self destruct activation system before release. Self-destruct Delayed system is to prevent space contamination with suspended ammunitions. The designed mines can be released by airplane or even a

cluster bomb. In the cluster type, it is necessary to charge the balloon by the combustion of hydrogen-generating compounds or other mixtures such as TiH3-NH4N3 with following reactions: 2 NH4F.HF + NaBH4 -> NaF + BF3 + N2 + 7H2 70 % Hydrogen by volume, 9.2% by weight 4 H2NNH2.BH3 + 6 NH4F.HF -> 4 BF3 + 7N2 + 29H2 72.5 % Hydrogen by volume, 11 % by weight 2 CaH2 + 2 NH4F.HF -> 2 CaF2 + N2 + 6 H2 67 % Hydrogen by volume, 10.2 % by weight The proposed compounds above can be placed inside a small capsule and after initiation they start to produce hydrogen gas to inflate the balloon similar to the mechanism take place in air-bag. It is also possible to use some other chemical reaction in the field methods for producing hydrogen to use in balloons such as the reaction of sodium hydroxide and aluminum, calcium hydride and water or already prepared hydrogen tanks. Each bomblet to use in cluster weapons has a dimension about 500 cubic centimeters that consists a latex balloon to involve 100 liter of hydrogen gas at sea level and atmospheric pressure, 100 gram of sensitive ammunition, gas generator and its starter, delayed self destructor system and also nylon string. As these suspended weapon are known as sky pollutant so a light delay system should destroy them in a timing method. Therefore a column with delay time of 30 minutes seems appropriate for this purpose. The delay time can be controlled in a mechanically, chemically or even an electronically manner. For example, an inexpensive delay can be made of a cotton wick that is lighter than other system, but effective when there is no rain and the humidity is not so high .The lightest chemical delay system that I have tested had the weight less than 1 gram! Note: cotton wick after burning will not extinguish till to finish by its slow ignition. Balloon can be made of polyethylene or other useful polymers. Recommended layout of aerial mines would be zigzag that is focused toward the center. In this arrangement, if the plane passes through two adjacent mines will face the Risk of collision with a mine in the middle of the two that is located one kilometer away. Such aerial mines can be deployed near the borders and the strategic points that radar can not track any airplanes also we should note that these kind of mobile aerial mine are not seen in a radar scope whether by intruder airplane or land radar. Even if the shipments were not explosive (such as steel bullet); they yet load a massive force to the airplane because of collision impact. To understand this better, suppose a 1 pound duck that impact to an airplane traveling at 600 mi/hr (880 ft/s) and let to calculate impulse: 1 pound duck whose length is 1 foot and the time of collision is assumed to be the time of transit of the duck's dimension of 1 foot, so 1/880 second

It is a simple example of kinetic weapons which have no explosive but are destructive. A bomb with 900 kg that is dropped from an aircraft with a speed of approximately 220 meters per second has the energy equivalent of 4.7 kg of TNT. In other words, if it was filled with a passive material like cement, its energy equivalency was about 5 kilogram of TNT. So kinetic energy of a solid military rocket with speed of mach5 and approximate weight without propellant 1500 kg with non-separation warhead is calculated 2041875000 j and its TNT equivalency is 4.6 MJ/kg, it will load a force as equal as 434 kg of TNT while charge of explosive in this kind of rockets is only about 300 kg! Also a significant portion of energy from explosive is wasted into heat and the blast wave. This simple calculation proves the ineffectiveness of such rockets and is recommended charging them with cluster munitions of depleted uranium with high penetration and incendiary abilities. References: 1. 2. ogen.pdf 3. 4. 5. U.S patent no: 3734863; Hydrogen generating compositions

Jet stream
Jet streams are fast flowing, relatively narrow air currents found in the atmosphere around 10 kilometers above the surface of the Earth. The major jet streams are westerly winds (flowing west to east) in the Northern Hemisphere, although in the summer, easterly jets can form in tropical regions. The path of the jet typically has a meandering shape. There are two main jet streams at polar latitudes and two minor subtropical streams closer to the equator. The streams are most commonly found between latitudes 30°N and 70°N for the polar jet stream (pilots remember that like birds they go north in the summer and south in the winter), and between latitudes 20°N and 50°N for the subtropical stream. There are other flows in the atmosphere that are referred to as jets, such as the equatorial easterly jet which occurs during the Northern Hemisphere summer between 10°N and 20°N, and the nocturnal pole ward low level jet in the Great Plains. Jet streams are typically continuous over long distances, but discontinuities are common. Occasionally, a jet stream can even split its flow or cut off into a closed circular flow. The wind speeds vary according to the temperature gradient, averaging 30 knots (55 km/h / 35 mph) in summer and 65 knots (120 km/h / 75 mph) in winter, although speeds of over 215 knots (400 km/h / 250 mph) are known. Technically, the wind speed must be higher than 60 knots (111 km/h / 69 mph) to be called a jet stream. The location of the jet stream is extremely important for airlines. In the United States and Canada, for example, the time needed to fly east across the continent can be decreased by about 30 minutes if an airplane can fly with the jet stream, or increased by more than that amount if it must fly west against it. On longer intercontinental flights, the difference is even greater.

The main jet streams flow from The west in the upper atmosphere References: 1. 2.

schematic of global jet stream

Launching Balloon bombs through Jet stream

Although Japanese have been using balloons in war since the 1800s at Port Arthur for observation of troop movements but the use of balloons as a weapon of war was conceived by the Japanese Military Scientific Laboratory in 1933, when study and research projects were started on the use of a 4-meter (13.12-foot) balloon with a flying range of 100 kilometers (62.14 miles). The study continued until 1935, when the research group of the lab started studying the theory of long-range balloon warfare, utilizing winds at altitudes of 3 to 6 km. They investigated methods of keeping balloons airborne for long periods of time and tried to determine if the west wind continued to blow the entire 10,000km distance across the Pacific Ocean. For some unknown reason the project was discontinued. Either the experiment was completed or, with no apparent need for this type of weapon at that time, the whole idea was shelved until some future date. That date turned out to be 7 December 1941 when Japan entered World War II. At this time Major General Sueyoski Kusaba requested that the research group (the work that performed by Technical Major Teiji Takada and his colleagues) be given permission to conduct full-scale development of a long-range balloon. In addition, he requested that a 1000-km area be reserved for manufacture and test. But his pleas fell on deaf ears, and he found little if any support for his idea. The project remained a closed subject until a single event took place on 18 April 1942 and shook the Japanese military empire, dispelling once and for all the Japanese militarists' boast that their zone of inner defense was impregnable against air power. The event was the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, by sixteen carrier-based B-25 medium bombers. In seeking reprisals for the Doolittle raid, the Japanese conceived the first transoceanic automatic-balloon campaign in history. It was to be their V-1 weapon. The Ninth Military Laboratory was immediately ordered to study various balloons capable of carrying bombs to the American continent. It was first intended that the balloons would be released from submarines off the West Coast of the United States, and in March 1943 a 6-meter balloon with a desired range of 300 km was developed which flew 1000 km between the west and east coasts of "Japan proper." Later it was found that this model could stay in the air for more than 30 hours at an altitude of 8 km. By this time, however, the Japanese Navy was so depleted that ships and submarines necessary to carry on such an attack were no longer available, and therefore further investigations were necessary to invent a balloon capable of traversing the expanse of ocean between Japan and North America. So the Ninth Lab was ordered to develop a balloon with a range of 10,000 km, to be released from the Japanese home islands. The research was started in August, with the

emphasis on two objectives: maintaining the balloon aloft for a long period of time and determining whether the west wind was continuous for 6200 miles across the Pacific. They began by studying what were termed the "A" and "B" types of balloons. The materials of the "A" type balloon consisted of handmade and hand patched integumentary paper. The raw, handmade mulberry paper had a standard weight of 15 g/sq m. With four pieces of paper pasted together lengthwise and breadthwise alternately, the balloon section began to take shape. The next step was to soften the paper panels by first dipping them into a solution of soda ash, then washing them with water, and finally dipping them into a solution of glycerin. After the panels were dried, the edges were trimmed and the panels were pasted together on a spindle form, the top part first, then the lower part. After the relief valve was installed, the suspending band was attached to the two hemispheres, and they were pasted together. Then the balloon was filled with gas for test purposes and coated with a protective varnish. The earlier paper balloons were made in factories, but when the demand reached its peak, the factories merely processed the paper and made the majority of the panels. The panels were then sent to subcontractors, who assembled the panels into the finished product. Some of the industrial firms connected with the operation were the Mitsubishi Saishi (Paper Factory), the Nippon Kakokin Company, and the Kokuka Rubber Company. It is interesting to note that the major share of assembly work was performed by Japanese school girls working in large theaters and sumo wrestling arenas in the Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto areas. The type "B" balloon, which was a Japanese Navy project, was made of habutai silk with gum coating. The Fujikur Industrial Company impregnated the silk with the rubber type of gum. The balloon had a standard weight of approximately 170 kg. General Kusaba had many other obstacles to overcome before the harmless-looking balloon could be turned into an effective weapon. The variability of atmospheric phenomena was at first regarded as the chief problem. After several meteorological observations, however, it was concluded that as long as the weather was not too bad the atmospheric pressure should remain fairly constant across the ocean at a given altitude. It was recognized that there were some ascending and descending air currents, though, even at 10 km (32,000 ft), as a result of weather conditions on the earth. Probably the greatest problem was in developing a radiosonde that could operate at length under the varying stratospheric conditions. The responsibility for development of such a system went to the Japanese Fifth Army Technical Laboratory. After considerable effort, the lab finally succeeded in building a set. It was attached to a balloon, and the balloon was released on a free flight. For 80 continuous hours the set continued to operate, relaying valuable flight information. The radio fell silent when the balloon reached a point 130 degrees west longitude. Based on theoretical calculations, a

balloon could cross the Pacific in three days during the winter period of November to March. The radiosonde system developed for monitoring the balloon's flying Course was one that produced a continuous wave, moderated by a multivibrator. This piece of equipment had a power output of 2 watts with an A & B frequency which worked on an alternating cycle. "A" would operate 10 minutes and rest 10 minutes; while "A" was resting, "B" was operating, and vice versa. t is interesting to note how the predicted route charts were drawn up. First by supposing that the decreasing ratio of the temperature affected by the altitude was fixed, then by calculating the air pressure of this particular altitude, they were able to draw an aero logical isobar. By calculating the inclining degree between the isobar and the speed of the wind from the latitude charted, they could draw a line to a point on a chart. n the basis of this conception, they analogized the flying course of the balloon, its speed, and its diffusion; and thereby they decided where to launch the balloons. It was noted that the upper air stream which reaches the American continent is a winding one; that the air stream in the American continent area tends to flow southward. The time required for a balloon to fly the complete course was estimated from 30 to 100 hours; the average time was 60 hours. In determining when to launch a balloon, the Japanese used a simple process. If a high atmospheric pressure front had just passed the area, then it was most suitable for balloon launching; but if a high pressure front was approaching or if a low pressure front had just passed, then it was unsuitable for a balloon launching. Another equally difficult problem resulted from the changes in temperature which the balloon encountered during its flight. A sudden change of temperature from 20 degrees in the day to -50 degrees after sunset would cause the balloon to drop. The Japanese Eighth Technical Laboratory was assigned to help solve the temperature and contraction problems. Since the "B" type balloon had a greater inside pressure (35 mm Hg), there was little difficulty with the temperature contraction problem. This was determined by analyzing the radiosonde equipment which recorded the amount of ballast dropped. The "B" balloon proved to be a better balloon, but due to a shortage of materials only 300 were made. In regard to the "A" type balloon, the problem was to determine how much sand should be carried, how much to drop at one time, and how many feet and how often the balloon would fall at night. Inasmuch as the duration of a flight was limited by the quantity of sandbags aboard the balloon, it was estimated that 35 sandbags, each weighing approximately 3 kilograms, would be needed. This quantity could keep the balloon flying for four days if it dropped approximately 25 kg of ballast per day.

The balloons were released by a crew usually during the calm periods of evening or early morning. When the wind velocities were greater than five meters per second, the balloons were launched by one of two methods. When the wind velocity was two miles per hour or less, the inflated and loaded balloon was secured with doubled ropes passed through the loops in the catenary rope at the equator of the envelope. One end of each holding rope was released simultaneously, permitting the balloon to rise free. When the wind velocity was greater, up to ten miles per hour, a different method was used. First, the ballast-dropping apparatus and load were placed on a stand several feet above the ground. The envelope was then filled upwind from the stand and loaded equatorially with sand ballast in special containers designed to open when pulled from below. The balloon was then "walked" into position and attached to the ballast-dropping mechanism. The ballast release ropes then were pulled, allowing the balloon to rise. It is presumed that this method was used to minimize the shock and oscillation that would have occurred if the balloon had been released abruptly. Launching normally required a crew of 30 men and could be done in 30 minutes. On days with favorable weather conditions, as many as 150 balloons were released. The control system ran the balloon through three days of flight. At that time, it was likely over the United States, and its ballast was expended. The final flash of gunpowder released the bombs, also carried on the wheel, and lit a 19.5 meter (64 ft) long fuse that hung from the balloon's equator. After 84 minutes, the fuse fired a flash bomb that destroyed the balloon. The balloon had to carry about 900 kg (1,900 lb) of gear. At first, the balloons were made of conventional rubberized silk, but there was a better way to make an envelope that leaked even less. An order went out for ten thousand balloons made of "washi", a paper derived from mulberry bushes that was impermeable and very tough. The fact that the balloons had been launched beginning in the fall made them little menace. The incendiary bombs could have caused forest fires, but by that time of year, the forests were generally too damp to catch fire easily or covered in snow. Although only 285 of the 9,000 bomb-laden balloons the Japanese launched were documented to have reach north America, experts believe that probably close to 1,000 made it across the Pacific.

References: 1. 2.Mikesh, Robert C., 1978, Japan's World War II Balloon Bomb Attacks on North America: Smithsonian Institute Press, National Air and Space Museum, Wash., D.C., 85 pages. 3. Smith, Jeffery Alan (1999). War & Press Freedom: The Problem of Prerogative Power -. Language Arts & Disciplines. 4. How Geologists Unraveled the Mystery of JapaneseVengeance Balloon Bombs in World War II; J. David Rogers, Ph.D., P.E., R.G.,C.E.G., C.HG.Karl F. Hasselmann Chair in Geological Engineering. Department of Geological Sciences & Engineering. Missouri University of Science & Technology 5. 6. Wildfire by jamy carbray 2009 7. JAPAN’SBALLOONBOMBS; BYJAMES W. HARRIS 8- Film: On a Wind and a Prayer (2008) Narrated by Dilly Barlow (Actor), Michael White

U.S evaluation of Japanese offensive
When the US first heard about the balloon bombs they didn't believe it. After a few days, things changed. On May 5, 1945, a balloon bomb that had drifted over the Pacific killed five children and a woman. Then after, the Office of Censorship sent a message to newspapers and radio stations to ask them to make no mention of balloons and balloonbomb incidents, lest the enemy get the idea that the balloons might be effective weapons. They were considered a threat and they outlined it well in an unpublished manual called BD-1. However, the authorities were worried about the balloons anyway. There was the chance that they might get lucky. Much worse, the Americans had some knowledge that the Japanese had been working on biological weapons, most specifically at the infamous Unit 731 site at Pingfan in Manchuria, and a balloon carrying biowarfare agents could be a real threat. Even though balloons which dropped incendiary or antipersonnel were found other uses were enumerated in order of importance. 1. Bacteriological or chemical warfare or both. 2. Transportation of incendiary and antipersonnel bombs. 3. Experiments for unknown purposes. 4. Psychological efforts to inspire terror and diversion of forces. 5. Transportation of agents. 6. Anti-aircraft devices.

Reference: 1. BD-1 manual by the Office of Censorship 2. 3. 4. Silent Siege III: Japanese Attacks on North America in World War II: Ships Sunk, Air Raids, Bombs Dropped, Civilians Killed by Bert Webber

Schematic of Japanese balloon bomb

A diagram of balloon bomb parts:
1. The balloon: Diameter - 33 1/2 feet; volume - approx. 19,000 cubic feet; material paraffin treated paper. 2. Rubber shock cord or bungee. 3. Sketch of incendiary-type bomb found at Medford, Oregon. 4. Japanese 15KG antipersonnel bomb found at Thermopolis, Wyoming. 5. Rope arrangement of skirt section (enlarged). 6. Battery unit of balloon. Includes: metal poles, bakelite plate, aluminum ring, squib fuse, and aneroid barometer. 7. Release arrangement. 8. Fuse housing bolted beneath the center of the cross-beams.

Japanese balloon bomb; type A

Cold War and Balloon Flights 1945-1965
After WWII and the beginning of Cold War, balloons were used again for Intelligence, research and communication purposes by the Soviet Union and USA. The invention of improved plastics, particularly polyethylene, in the postwar period led to the development of truly effective high-altitude balloons. Such balloons were used for scientific research, most notably in the US Navy's SKYHOOK program, as well as for military reconnaissance. The new polyethylene balloons also led to a spectacular final series of manned high-altitude balloon research flights. Unlike cellophane, which became brittle in the cold and degraded when exposed to highaltitude ozone and ultraviolet light, polyethylene worked well over a wide range of temperatures and resisted attack by ozone and ultraviolet. It weighed about a quarter as much as rubberized fabric per unit area, and it cost less than a fiftieth as much. It was also much more suitable for machine fabrication and assembly than rubberized fabric, with balloons made of strips or "gores" of polyethylene that were taped together. Some of unknown flying objects (UFO) in that time were in fact balloons that were used in the projects such as SKYHOOK. As a logical extension of the SKYHOOK flights, in the early 1950s the ONR began the "Rockoon" effort, in which high-altitude balloons were used as a "first stage" for sounding rockets, providing an altitude boost. Most of the research conducted by this program was under the direction of Dr. James Van Allen of the University of Iowa. In the late 1940s, the Air Force conducted MOGUL, which was intended to detect nuclear blasts from the propagation of sound waves through the upper atmosphere. The train carried a measurement payload as well as "corner reflectors", kitelike structures covered with aluminum foil to allow the balloon system to be tracked on radar. The radio transmitter allowed the balloon to be tracked in the winds. The transmitter broadcast a balloon ID code, the balloon's altitude, and the amount of ballast remaining. It was powered by a 6-volt automotive lead-acid battery, with the transmitter operating on a 30 seconds on / 90 seconds off duty cycle to conserve battery power. The payload was thermally insulated by layers of Styrofoam and aluminum foil, to keep it from freezing up; cans of water were also carried as a "thermal mass" to help maintain a constant temperature. Initial proposals of a balloon bomber capability were put forward in late 1952, with a formal program designated "Weapon System 124A (WS-124A)", codenamed FLYING CLOUD, initiated in March 1953. The objective was to develop a hydrogen-filled attack balloon to perform missions over ranges of up to 2,775 kilometers (1,500 NMI) at an altitude 11,770 meters (38,600 feet), with durations of up to 60 hours. Launch methods were to be developed to allow balloon missions to be conducted in all but the worst weather. The balloons were to carry

chemical or biological agent payloads. Chemicals would be dispersed in cluster bomb units; some sources claim that the biological payloads consisted of turkey feathers salted with pathogens, with the feathers to be dumped into the wind to form a plume. Apparently crop pathogens -- fungal infections such as wheat rusts and rice blasts -- were regarded as the most promising payloads. Two types of balloons were used for Weapons System 119L, one having an inflated diameter of 20 meters and the other a diameter of 39 meters. They were inflated with hydrogen for additional lifting power. The flammability didn't matter, in fact it was all for the good: if a helium balloon was hit by a shell, it would simply leak and drift to ground where it could be captured, but if a hydrogen balloon was hit, it would light up and crash, hopefully shattering the gondola into bits. There were two reconnaissance cameras in the gondola, each with 500 frames of oversized high-resolution film, with the camera views angled off to each side to ensure a wide swath of coverage. The cameras would take a shot every few minutes. A small 16 millimeter camera with a wide-angle lens was used to take low-resolution shots to allow the high-resolution images to be registered; the 16 millimeter camera imagery also recorded the balloon's altitude and other data. The gondola was spun slowly by a motor to ensure 360 degree coverage. A photocell system turned off the cameras when it was too dark to take pictures. In addition to the balloon reconnaissance effort of the 1950s, there was also a large-scale program conducted by Radio Free Europe (RFE) to send propaganda eastward by balloon. Initial launches were in 1951, using war-surplus weather balloons, but later efforts used very cheap balloons manufactured for the purpose. The balloons were about 3 meters (10 feet) in diameter, looked like inflated polyethylene clothes bags, and carried what looked like a shoebox with leaflets, books, or posters in it. A total of 350,000 propaganda balloons were launched. The balloon operations were halted in 1956 because RFE obtained a more powerful transmitter system with very long range. Russian sources claim that balloon reconnaissance missions over the USSR continued into the 1970s and beyond. According to Russian records, 1975 was a particularly active year for balloon activities, with 16 recorded intrusions and 13 balloons shot down.


1. 2. 3. 4. Parting the curtain: propaganda, culture, and the Cold War, 1945-1961 by Walter l. Hixon .

Fundamental of reconnaissance balloons
Gas filled surveillance balloons have been utilized for quite sometime for military and research purposes. The "Caquot" type balloon was used extensively during World War II as an aerial observation post and also as a barrage balloon. "Caquot" balloons were designed to withstand winds of about 50 miles per hour and rise to heights of about 6,000 feet. The main body should have a pair of horizontal stabilizing fins and a vertical stabilizing fin attached to its aft end. Also the aerodynamic lifting device should have a flex wing connected at its forward and aft centerline tips and its lateral edges to the ellipsoidal shaped main body. The flex wing locates above the upper surface of the main body so as to span the center of gravity point of the ellipsoidal shaped main body. The flex wing inclines with respect to the upper surface of the main body so as to provide an angle of attack for contact with in-rushing air. The flex wing also preferably includes centerline and wing leading edge frame sections. The wing leading edge frames extend laterally out away from the sides of the main body. Connecting lines attach the lateral most ends of the flex wing to the sides of the main body and additional connecting lines extend from the upper surface of the main body and connect with the forward and aft tips of the flex wing centerline frame. A payload pod can be positioned on the undersurface of the ellipsoidal main body below the flex wing. The main body and the flex wing including its frame structure form of a material which is radar transparent and difficult to visually detect. For example, the flex wing and frame can be formed of a clear plastic material. Within the payload pod is a surveillance system which includes various sensor means such as TV or infrared sensor assemblies for assistance in pinpointing the location of detected objects.(Surveillance balloon; patent no: 5115997) In researching the construction of high-altitude balloons, there are usually two major parts -- the flight system and the payload(s). The flight system is basically everything that is not a payload, and usually consists of the actual latex balloon (sometimes called the "envelope"), a parachute, a radar reflector, and nylon cord to connect it all together. Flight systems may also have a cutdown device to separate the parachute and payload from the envelope, although flights typically continue until the balloon reaches an altitude where the decreasing outside pressure causes the envelope to burst. Balloons could have parachutes that are unfolded and bear the weight of the payloads for the entire flight. A loop at the top of the parachute connects to the envelope, and the payloads connect to the shroud lines at the bottom of the parachute. In following instructions I will explain how to use available technologies for a simple reconnaissance device; but in practice it is possible to perform a complex project with modern smart phone, GPS technology… That takes much time to describe it in detail in this short article.

Flight Computer

The flight computer controls just about every function of the payload. the Basic Stamp can do the same job but they aren't flexible enough to do all the things that you want the flight computer to do, although you can using a Basic Stamp as the relay controller and A/D input (more about that later). The balloon should run Linux, that way you'd be able to have the flight computer do just about anything you want. There is a very small, lightweight, single-board computer which is manufactured by Soekris Engineering: and alternative products can buy from

Choose their net4511 board, which has an AMD 486/100 processor, 32 MB RAM, a mini-PCI slot, a PC card slot, a compact flash slot, two Ethernet ports, and a serial port.

These days to find flexible mini-OS software suitable for most projects requiring a robust is so easy and there are many Linux distributions for this project. For example element Linux, Gentoo or even tiny version of Linux can be used. The Soekris boards have BIOS that supports a serial console because they have no video or keyboard support. This made the OS installation a little more challenging. But the system boots using Grub: The compact flash card shows up as an IDE device to the kernel, so the boot process is pretty straightforward once you actually get the kernel going. Bering (Linux distribution like tiny Linux or Slitaz) creates a RAM disk at boot time and decompresses a series of package files into it, and the OS runs from the RAM disk from then on. Compact flash is reasonably fast, so you could have changed the start-up scripts to just run the OS from the CF card, but as it turned out, you didn't need the extra RAM, and figured everything would probably run faster from a RAM disk, so just left it that way. If you’re Soekris boards has no a USB port and as the most of the webcam-type devices need USB connections. You need more than just the single serial port on the Soekris board and the solution is a PC card that provides two USB ports. All new Linux kernels support such devices. The final task in getting the base system up and running is to install the natsemi.o module for the two Ethernet ports and install OpenSSH. Once this was complete, easily log in and transfer files to the system.

Tracking Subsystem
Although balloon can perform many functions, the primary mission objective was to recover the payload. Visually tracking the balloon is possible with a pair of binoculars on a clear day, even up to 100,000 ft., but not very high-tech, and it's easy to lose, even if you take your eyes off of it for only a second. GPS is the obvious choice for tracking. The cost of handheld GPS devices come down dramatically in recent years, making it feasible to put one in a balloon that can potentially be lost. the GPS-35 made by Garmin : . Garmin makes the GPS35 for OEM applications - it has no display, only serial output in standard NMEA format. You can choose the GPS-35-HVS which operates on a 6-40 VDC power source. You can order the unit from GPS City:

GPS 35

There’s good documentation on Garmin's website, so you are able to solder on a connector without much difficulty. In practice connect it to the Soekris board via an IOGear USB-to-serial adapter: from Fry's, which is supported by the usb-serial.o and pl2303.o Linux kernel modules. You should be familiar with the NMEA-0183 standard for GPS serial output and writing Perl script to parse it. Although gpsd which is written in C; does the same job much more efficiently. gpsd is a daemon that acts as a TCP daemon, allowing multiple local or remote programs to connect and receive position data and listens to a GPS or Loran receiver and translates the positional data into a simplified format that can be more easily used by other programs, like chart plotters. Learn more about it here:

I/O Subsystem
Basically, the I/O subsystem allows the flight computer to control some relays and sensors. Look for a Basic Stamp 1 module and carrier board from Parallax. The module and carrier board aren’t expensive and they are available at most electronic supply shops. 1. uctID/3/List/1/Default.aspx?SortField=UnitCost,ProductName 2. 3. 4.

The Basic Stamp 1 is a microprocessor with 8 I/O pins and can be programmed in a BASIC-like language using free software provided by Parallax. The carrier board has a 3-

pin programming header that connects to your PC using a cable you can make yourself or buy. Each of the 8 I/O pins can be used for TTL or serial (up to 2400 baud) input or output, and you can even change a given pin from input to output or TTL to serial during the execution of your program. The first two I/O pins are used for serial transmit and receive and are connected to the flight computer via another USB-to-serial adapter. The next three pins are used to control relays, using this reference design for a relay controller: Use two of the relays to switch a strobe light and piezo beeper to help locate the payload during descent and after landing. The third relay switches current to the cutdown device, which is simply a piece of nichrome wire (like the kind in a toaster) should be wrapped around the nylon rope that attaches the balloon envelope to the top of the parachute. The wire heats up and melts through the rope in 5-10 seconds when the current is switched on. The last three I/O pins interface with a Linear Technology LTC-1298: 12-bit, 2-channel A/D converter. Parallax has a nice application note: with a schematic and sample code for interfacing the LTC-1298 with the Basic Stamp. EME Systems: has a lot of information on their web site about using a Basic Stamp and A/D converter with various types of environmental sensors. Use a couple of Analog Devices AD590 temperature sensors to measure the internal and external temperature of the payload. EME has a nice overview: of the characteristics of the AD590 and how to connect it to an A/D converter. You can have free samples of both the LTC1298 and AD590 from their respective manufacturers' websites. In the picture above, the AD590 is the small metal can at the top center of the board. Below it are three transistors that switch the relays, which are the red objects hanging off the sides of the board. To the right of the AD590 is a 2-pin header for connecting the external AD590. Three more headers are along the left side of the board for connecting the relay-controlled devices. The LTC-1298 A/D converter is at the bottom center of the board, half-hidden by jumpers. Finally, the Basic Stamp itself plugs into the board in a vertical position on the right side. The last step was the software. The code for the Basic Stamp is relay 2: symbol relay = b4 symbol stat = b5 symbol cs = 5 symbol clk = 6 symbol dio_n = 7 symbol dio_p = pin7 symbol adbits = b1 symbol ad = w1 ' Define storage space & name for relay input ' Relay status for ON/OFF

symbol sgldif = 1 symbol msbf = 1 symbol oddsign = bit0 dirs = %01111110 high cs loop: serin 0,N2400,("R"),#relay,#stat ' Get serial data on pin 0 into b3 (relay) and b4 (stat) serout 1,N2400,(#relay, " ", #stat, 013, 010) if relay > 3 then adconvert relay = relay+1 if stat = 0 then relayoff goto relayon relayon: high relay goto loop relayoff: low relay goto loop adconvert: oddsign = relay - 4 low clk high dio_n low cs pulsout clk,5 let dio_p = sgldif pulsout clk,5 let dio_p = oddsign pulsout clk,5 let dio_p = msbf pulsout clk,5 input dio_n let ad = 0 for adbits = 1 to 13 let ad = ad*2 + dio_p pulsout clk,5 next high cs serout 1,N2400,(#ad, 013, 010) goto loop ' All pins outputs except 0 for serial input

Just merge the example code from the relay controller and LTC-1298 application note, with a few minor modifications. The code for the flight computer ( is a simple TCP daemon written in Perl. The script listens for connections on TCP port 7070, and passes text to and from the serial port. This allows multiple local or remote programs to interface with the I/O controller.

#!/usr/bin/perl # use IO::Select; use IO::File; use IO::Socket; sub open_port { my($portdevice, $portspeed) = @_; system("/bin/stty -F $portdevice speed $portspeed raw > /dev/null 2>&1"); my $porthandle = new IO::File("+<$portdevice"); if ($porthandle) { $porthandle->autoflush(1); } return $porthandle; } sub command { my @ready; my $s, $buf; my($porthandle, $command) = @_; my $read_set = new IO::Select(); $read_set->add($porthandle); print $porthandle $command; if (@ready = $read_set->can_read(2)) { foreach $s (@ready) { $buf = <$s>; return $buf; } } return 0; } $port = open_port("/dev/ttyUSB2", "2400"); $socket = new IO::Socket::INET (LocalHost => '',

LocalPort => '7070', Proto => 'tcp', Listen => 16, Reuse => 1,); die "Could not create socket: $!\n" unless $socket; $sock_set = new IO::Select($socket); while (1) { @rh_set = $sock_set->can_read(); foreach $rh (@rh_set) { if ($rh == $socket) { $ns = $rh->accept(); $ns->autoflush(1); $sock_set->add($ns); } else { $buf = <$rh>; if ($buf) { $out = command($port, $buf); print $rh $out; } else { $sock_set->remove($rh); close($rh); } } } }

Communications Subsystem
The balloon would have robust communication capabilities. That is one of the benefits of selecting the Soekris/Linux combo for the flight computer. What to use for the actual communication interface? Long-distance 802.11b links and Linux has ample support for it. Range becomes an issue however. At 100,000 ft., the balloon would be nearly 19 miles from the ground. While off-theshelf 802.11b gear is capable of spanning that distance with external antennas, they need to be carefully aligned, and are probably too heavy for the balloon to lift (For more information read my free book about digital security and improvised networking). Clearly you'd have to find another solution that is amateur radio. Check out the website of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL): if you're interested in learning more about amateur radio. Amateur packet radio is actually rather similar to Ethernet. The cables are replaced with radio waves, the NIC with a TNC: (terminal node controller), and the hardware MAC addresses with amateur radio call signs. Packet radio is much slower of course. Some amateurs are starting to use 9600 bps packet radio, but most communication is still at 1200 bps. Tucson Amateur Packet Radio: has a lot of good information on packet radio at their web site. A lot of packet radio activity happens on the amateur 2-meter band (144-148 MHz). You can get a lot of distance out of a very modest 2-meter transmitter and omni-directional antenna. This seemed like a good option for getting telemetry from the balloon. Provide the Radio Shack HTX-202 and BayPac BP-2: modem. The BP-2 is not really a TNC though - it's just a radio modem and transmit/receive switch, and relies on PC software to handle the rest of the TNC functions. It's also really only designed to work well with DOS applications. The BP-2 is actually a hack and uses the RTS and CTS lines of the serial port to get data into the PC since packet radio is asynchronous communication. Decoding the serial data from the RTS and CTS lines is a real-time process, so modern multi-tasking OS'es don't do a good job of it. There is a Linux driver for the BP-2, but it requires that you disable the standard serial driver, which is not an option. A newer, full-featured TNC seems to be the solution is available here: Kantronics KPC3+: And Ham Radio Outlet: . The TNC connects to the Soekris board via another USB-to-serial adapter, and to the radio via the mic and speaker jacks.

HTX-202 is usable, but it picks up a lot of interference from the Soekris board so better to buy Yaesu VX-1R: transceiver that is much smaller and lighter than old HTX-202 and has a much better receiver. It outputs 1 watt with an external 6 VDC power have a better antenna you can make a j-pole antenna for 2 meters: using twin-lead TV antenna cable. Amazingly, the Linux kernel has included support for amateur packet radio AX.25 protocol since pre-version-1.0 days. AX.25 is a variant of good old X.25. There's a fairly well written Linux Amateur Radio AX.25 HOWTO: that explains most of what you'll need to do. There's an ax25.o module for protocol support, and an mkiss.o module which supports the generic KISS packet mode of most TNCs. The TNC is configured as a network interface, just like an Ethernet or PPP interface, but using a utility called "kissattach." There are a set of daemons (ax25d and axspawn) that listen for inbound AX.25 connections and spawn a shell or other program to allow you to log in to a shell on the flight computer. One of the more recent developments in packet radio is Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS).search the web for such device in APRS is a format for transmitting location data (usually GPS derived) via AX.25 packet radio. APRS stations periodically transmit an AX.25 packet that includes, at a minimum, latitude and longitude, and may also include altitude, speed, heading, other telemetry, and comments. This was the perfect solution for the balloon to report its tracking and telemetry data To get familiar with the APRS Protocol Reference: and then wrote a Perl script ( to implement APRS on the flight computer. Here is the script:

#!/usr/bin/perl # use IO::Socket; use IO::Select; use IO::File; $DEBUG = 0; $host = ""; $port = "2947"; $logfile = "/mnt/aprs.log"; $map_char = "O";

$loginterval = 15; $beaconcounter = $beaconmultiple = 4; sub do_command { my @ready, $s, $buf; my $handle = shift(@_); my $command = shift(@_); my $read_set = new IO::Select($handle); print $handle "$command\n"; while (1) { if (@ready = $read_set->can_read(2)) { foreach $s (@ready) { $buf = <$s>; if ($buf =~ m/GPSD/) { return $buf; } } } else { return 0; } } } sub get_temp { my $ti, $to; my @ready, $s, $buf; my $handle = shift(@_); my $read_set = new IO::Select($handle); print $handle "R4 1\n"; if (@ready = $read_set->can_read(2)) { foreach $s (@ready) { $buf = <$s>; if ($buf =~ m/(\d+)/) { if ($1) { $ti = ($1 * .121612 - 273) * 1.8 + 32; } } } } print $handle "R5 1\n"; if (@ready = $read_set->can_read(2)) { foreach $s (@ready) { $buf = <$s>; if ($buf =~ m/(\d+)/) { if ($1) {

$to = ($1 * .121612 - 273) * 1.8 + 32; } } } } return ($ti, $to); } $| = 1; $aprslog = new IO::File(">>$logfile"); die "Could not open log file: $!\n" unless $aprslog; $aprslog->autoflush(1); while ((! $gpsd) && ($opencount < 30)) { $gpsd = new IO::Socket::INET (PeerAddr => $host, PeerPort => $port, Proto => 'tcp',); $opencount++; sleep 1; } die "Could not create socket: $!\n" unless $gpsd; $gpsd->autoflush(1); $opencount = 0; while ((! $admon) && ($opencount < 30)) { $admon = new IO::Socket::INET (PeerAddr => '', PeerPort => '7070', Proto => 'tcp',); $opencount++; sleep 1; } die "Could not create socket: $!\n" unless $admon; $admon->autoflush(1); while (1) { $gps_okay = 1; if ($gps_okay = (($result = do_command($gpsd, "s")) ? (1 && $gps_okay) : 0)) { $result =~ m/GPSD,S=([01])/; $gps_valid = $1; } if ($gps_okay = (($result = do_command($gpsd, "d")) ? (1 && $gps_okay) : 0)) { $result =~ m/GPSD,D=(\d+)\/(\d+)\/(\d+) (\d+):(\d+):(\d+)/;

$gps_utc = $4 . $5 . $6; } if ($gps_okay = (($result = do_command($gpsd, "p")) ? (1 && $gps_okay) : 0)) { $result =~ m/GPSD,P=(\-?)([\d\.]+) (\-?)([\d\.]+)/; $gps_lat_dir = $1 ? "S" : "N"; $gps_lon_dir = $3 ? "W" : "E"; $gps_lat = int($2) . ($2 - int($2)) * 60; $gps_lon = int($4) . ($4 - int($4)) * 60; } if ($gps_okay = (($result = do_command($gpsd, "v")) ? (1 && $gps_okay) : 0)) { $result =~ m/GPSD,V=([\d\.]+)/; $gps_speed = $1; } if ($gps_okay = (($result = do_command($gpsd, "t")) ? (1 && $gps_okay) : 0)) { $result =~ m/GPSD,T=([\d\.]+)/; $gps_heading = $1; } if ($gps_okay = (($result = do_command($gpsd, "a")) ? (1 && $gps_okay) : 0)) { $result =~ m/GPSD,A=([\d\.]+)/; $gps_alt = $1 * 3.28; } ($inttemp, $outtemp) = get_temp($admon); $inttemp = $inttemp ? $inttemp : "ERR"; $outtemp = $outtemp ? $outtemp : "ERR"; $tempstring = sprintf(" IT:%.3d OT:%.3d", $inttemp, $outtemp); $aprs_string = sprintf("\@%.6dh%07.2f%s/%08.2f%s%s%.3d/%.3d/A=%.6d", $gps_utc, $gps_lat, $gps_lat_dir, $gps_lon, $gps_lon_dir, $map_char, $gps_heading, $gps_speed, $gps_alt); $aprs_string = $aprs_string.$tempstring; $aprs_string = $aprs_string." INVALID" unless $gps_valid; $aprs_string = $aprs_string." GPSERROR" unless $gps_okay; print $aprslog "$aprs_string\n"; if ($beaconcounter >= $beaconmultiple) { $aprs_string = $aprs_string." Embedded Linux n9oyp\"; system("/sbin/beacon -d \"APRS VIA WIDE RELAY\" -s radio \"$aprs_string\""); $beaconcounter = 1; } else { $beaconcounter++; } sleep $loginterval; }

The script opens TCP connections to the gpsd daemon and I/O daemon (see above) to get position and temperature data, formats that into an APRS string, and then calls the "beacon" utility included with the Linux AX.25 tools to transmit it via the TNC and radio. The script went through many revisions to fix bugs and improve performance. At the receiving end, use a piece of software called APRSPoint: which runs on top of Microsoft MapPoint: . APRSPoint receives APRS packets via a second radio and TNC set connected to the serial port of the tracking station (in this case, my laptop). It creates a new icon on the MapPoint map for each station it receives a location report from. You can also set it to create a new icon for each report (as opposed to moving an existing icon) so you can track the progress of one or more stations. This would be perfect for the tracking the balloon. Alternatively, you can make a small secondary payload package containing a Standard C558A handheld transceiver. This radio is dual-band and can receive and transmit on the amateur 70 cm band (430-450 MHz) as well as the 2-meter band. It can also be set to cross-band repeater mode so that a signal received on one band is automatically retransmitted on the other band. The secondary payload would serve two purposes. Firstly, it would be an interesting experiment in a high-altitude voice repeater, enabling long-distance voice contacts between two parties on the ground. It would also serve as a backup signal source so we could locate the balloon using radio direction finding: techniques if the primary tracking system failed.

Imaging Subsystem
Taking pictures from the balloon wouldn’t be so easy to design and implement. But it is possible triggering an autoadvance 35mm camera with the relay controller. First thought is to use a USB webcam. This would have the added advantage of being able to take short movie clips. Linux has support for some USB webcams via the Video4Linux subsystem but they should give a good resolution with USB interface. Such as Bargaincell Flexible 12 Mega Pixel High Resolution or Philips Gooseneck Webcam SPC611NC or one from here:

Although gphoto2 supports image retrieval from most digital cameras with USB or serial connectivity, and remote control of those models that support it. gPhoto2 is a free, redistributable, ready to use set of digital camera software applications for Unix-like systems, written by a whole team of dedicated volunteers around the world. It supports more than 1400 cameras.gPhoto2 runs on a large range of UNIX-like operating system, including Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, MacOS X, etc. gPhoto is provided by major Linux distributions like Debian GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva, etc.learn more here: As another choice you can use a LINUX STV0680 USB SUPPORT for the USB interface version of STV0680B chip based cameras such as Aiptek Pencams from this company: To automate the picture-taking process use following Perl script ( that calls pencam2:


use IO::Socket; use IO::Select;

$host = ""; $port = "2947";

$pictureinterval = 60;

sub do_command { my @ready, $s, $buf; my $handle = shift(@_); my $command = shift(@_);

my $read_set = new IO::Select($handle); print $handle "$command\n"; while (1) { if (@ready = $read_set->can_read(2)) { foreach $s (@ready) { $buf = <$s>; if ($buf =~ m/GPSD/) { return $buf; } } } else { return 0; } } }

while ((! $gpsd) && ($opencount < 30)) { $gpsd = new IO::Socket::INET (PeerAddr => $host, PeerPort => $port, Proto => 'tcp',); $opencount++;

sleep 1; } die "Could not create socket: $!\n" unless $gpsd; $gpsd->autoflush(1);

$| = 1;

$month = $day = "01"; $hour = $minute = "00";

while (1) { do_command($gpsd, "d") =~ m/GPSD,D=(\S+)\s+(\S+)/; $date = $1; $time = $2; $date =~ m/(\d+)\/(\d+)\/\d+/; $month = $1; $day = $2; $time =~ m/(\d+):(\d+):\d+/; $hour = $1; $minute = $2; do_command($gpsd, "p") =~ m/GPSD,P=(\S+)\s+(\S+)/; $lat = $1; $lon = $2;

do_command($gpsd, "a") =~ m/GPSD,A=(\S+)/; $alt = int($1 * 3.28); # print "$date $time $lat $lon $alt\n"; system("export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib HOME=/root; /bin/echo 'x' | /usr/local/bin/pencam2 snap > /dev/null"); $convertstring = "export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib; /usr/local/bin/ppmlabel color \"#00FF00\" -x 400 -y 430 -text \"$date Alt: $alt\" -text \"$time UTC\" -text \"$lat $lon\" /mnt/images/raw001.ppm | /usr/local/bin/pnmtojpeg -quality 98 > /mnt/images/" . $month . $day . $hour . $minute . ".jpg"; # print $convertstring; system("$convertstring"); sleep $pictureinterval; }

Once per minute to take a picture, retrieve it from the camera and save it as a ~1 Mb PNM file. The script then gets the current time, position and altitude from gpsd and labels the image in the lower right corner using ppmlabel. Finally, the image is converted to a ~100 Kb JPEG with pnmtojpeg, given a unique file name, and moved to a directory on the compact flash card. ppmlabel and pnmtojpeg are both from the netpbm: suite of image manipulation utilities.

Alternative method with modern technology
The new idea is based on modern digital camera that is loaded with CHDK software and cellphone loaded with accutrack GPS software. CHDK software currently available for many (but not all) Canon PowerShot compact digital cameras that you can load onto your camera's memory card to give your camera greatly enhanced capabilities. The modern technologies allow you to do almost every thing with your balloon from accurate short range satellite to guided ballistic balloon bombs. Equipment: 1-“TOTEX 350 gram 8 FOOT diameter- latex- massive weather balloon “from eBay 2-Hydrogen gas cylinder for $55.00 from welding supply store; or by reaction between aluminum turnings and caustic soda. 3-Digital Camera - ~$60.00 (from eBay) loaded with CHDK software Canon Powershot G9 loaded with CHDK software. This software can act as an intervalometer, instructing the camera to take a picture every few seconds until the battery runs out. I attached an external power supply to the camera so I could power it with disposable lithium-ion batteries. 4-Cell Phone - Boost mobile cellphone loaded with accutrack GPS software- ~$45.00 get a Radio Shack and a prepaid Boost Mobile Motorola i335 phone. It has a built-in GPS chip. Then install "accutracking" software on the phone, which is totally free for the first month! This software lets you track the phone's location and altitude online. set the phone to upload its location every minute( or you appropriate time). After launch, the phone soon get too high to communicate with cellphone towers, but with landing, it reports its location, as well as all of the data it stored while it was not able to communicate with cell towers. To solve this problem you can use satellite phone if you want to have your own black bird to track every thing on the earth. 5-Foam cooler - $3.00 6-Lithium Batteries - $15.00 Disposable lithium-ion batteries perform very well in extremely cold conditions, where regular alkaline batteries would freeze and fail.

7-Misc. - $10.00 Use the excellent flight path prediction software from ; This is VERY important to estimate where the balloon might land. If you want the balloon to land where there is cellphone coverage; otherwise the balloon cannot report its location and will be lost. There are two pictures in the end of this article were taken from near space by this method.

Power source
The only feasible power sources are batteries but they are heavy and you want to use batteries with a high power-to-weight ratio. Every payload component was capable of running from a 12-15 VDC power source, except the Yaesu VX-1R radio. The radio uses a 12-to-6 volt converter cannibalized from the cigarette lighter adapter that came with it. Depend on your plan and time you want to use balloon, there are three different power sources; 1-for short time: Lithium batteries; not to be confused with the more common Lithiumion rechargeable batteries. Lithium batteries are not rechargeable, but have a much better power-to-weight ratio than any consumer-type battery. They also perform very well at low temperatures and have an extremely long shelf life. These features make them popular for military applications. Read more about them here: 2- Hybrid Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery with solar panel for long range applications such as launching balloon through jet-stream. Solar panel will be used to charge batteries for night flight. The 16 solar cells put out 8 volts at 2 amps in full sunlight and small electric motor draws 1.5 amps at 8 volts at full power. Such hybrid power can be attached to a more aerodynamic balloon for better navigation like this:

Small size solar plane Now days every things is much easier and you can buy balloon with better quality and less weight with least money. Such as the on my friend buy for his balloon test: “TOTEX 350 gram 12 FOOT dia- latex- massive weather balloon “ that can carry over 25 kg payload when it is filled with hydrogen !

References: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Balloon bombs and terrorist attacks
Along with many advances in different sciences, ways to abuse or exploiting them are also being developed so it is to say there is no safe place. Information technologies are faced with hacker attacks and all wireless communication easily intercepted. The threat of modern terrorism covers all aspects of security such as economic, social, job and even culture. Military threats of balloon bombs in modern terrorism play an important role in the future that might be unique. All facilities required to perform a terrorist act with such device is readily available in all homes. All kinds of plastic bags as a balloon, battery acid and zinc to produce hydrogen gas, cigarettes and matches as a delay igniter and a bag containing gasoline as incendiary ammunition can be used for this plan. In practice, Zinc-acid reaction produces hydrogen gas to flow into the bag that will be tied to the small bag full of gasoline. This payload releases from the balloon after about 15 minutes delay that is provided by burning cigarette. The balloon moves by wind from the launching point A to target point B that is depended on wind velocity. The gasfilled balloons are themselves invisible to radar, that is why they carry lightweight reflecting radar "target" made of aluminum foil and foam plastic which allows them to be tracked to great distances, often in excess of 200 km in very strong winds, the so-called "jet streams". Yes, radar can pick up a flying human (and flying birds). If it's slow moving then anti-clutter programming may filter it out. (Radar normally doesn't display birds, but only because the signal filters out such slow moving objects). Of course, the best way to avoid radar detection is to fly very low, at treetop levels or to fly very high, up at suborbital levels. That was simplest example of such operation but in practice the result can be much more dangerous if the payload replaces with high explosives (such as HMTD, acetone peroxide) or CBC agents (e.g. Ricin, cyanide, pulverized plutonium) While small balloon may have been heavy with bags containing salt, are released near the beach in the day. Over time the water dissolves the salt and the balloons get ready to come out and fly toward their targets. This delay system can be much more variable and more accurate to have the best performance. Again because of moral reason I prefer not to explain in detail about how to use such weapon. In addition, it should be noted that small balloon bombs, near the airports can be a dangerous threat and even revealing its news cancel flights for a long time.

The balloon carries a metallic foil radar reflecting target

Balloon bombs vs. current air defense
1- The old methods used for air defense are not accurate. Such as antiaircraft canon. 2- Modern air defense systems are vulnerable to electronic warfare and electromagnetic bombs. Electromagnetic bombs with high induction voltages (similar to effects of lightning on the transmission lines) are able to cause a serious damage to electrical circuits in radius of 400 meters. The U.S used such weapons for destruction of telecommunication systems, radar and television in Iraq. The Faraday cage is a common method for minimizing vulnerability. 3- Current defensive systems do not stop air strikes. 4- The current systems require experienced staff. 5- The current air defense systems are so expensive. Here is a schematic of an electromagnetic bomb (MK-84)

There are several ways to instill a love of nature in the younger generation. Nature is the best teacher and history contains the best lessons. If we ignore them, we won’t have a good progress in the future. Nature has many wonders, intricacies, beauties and events from which we can derive many good things, but it also has many horrors. The Nature over millions of years has developed the most advanced defensive systems that should be an inspiration for us to avoid increasing cost and optimizing defense system. That’s why the balloon bombs presented here and their applications are summarized below: 1- The Balloon bombs as anti-aircraft mines are cheaper, faster and more effective than any other air defense to protect cities and strategic centers. 2- The Balloon bomb can be a deterrent to aerial attack. According to experts, it increases the cost greatly for enemy because of the fear of air attacks. 3- It is possible to establish a defense shield based on balloon every where so easily. 4- The balloon bombs were the first generation of intercontinental launching with least cost. 5- The payload varies from Photography equipment, telecommunication system, NBC (nuclear, biological or chemical agents) to Surveillance equipment. 6- The Terrorist attacks with flying balloon bombs are undetectable and will be considered a serious threat in the future.

Appendix 1: Install CHDK on digital canon
Canon "point and shoot" digital camera (pocket camera) has a lot of automatic settings and make things really easy, just point it to an object and click the shoot button and you're done. But if you want to explore more manual settings and use all hidden features on your Canon digital camera, you can use CHDK. What is CHDK? CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kits) is add-on software for your canon camera. CHDK enhances the capabilities of your camera in a non-permanent way... In this tutorial we won't install CHDK on the camera itself but on the SD card or the memory card, and then make the SD card as first boot when we turn on the camera. Don’t worry; CHDK won't screw up your original Canon camera firmware. CHDK Features After installing CHDK you can shoot in RAW, Ultra long/fast shutter speed, Focus bracketing (unlimited shots), Zoom during video function, File Browser, Text Reader, Calendar, and you get some games... click here for more CHDK features. How to Install CHDK? Requirements: - Canon PowerShot or IXUS Digital Camera - SD Card/Memory card - Card Reader 1:We need to know the firmware version of the camera...Turn on your camera, shoot an object, and then copy the image (JPG) to your computer.To find CameraVersion-SFX application refer to links here: or ; extract it, then open/double click on: CameraVersion11.exe:

2: Click Browse > select any JPG taken with your camera > click Open

3:Remember your camera type and the firmware is IXUS 90 IS (also known as PowerShot SD790) and you can see the firmware version is 1.00D

4:Open this webpage then download the correct CHDK for your camera....remember, do not extract the downloaded zip file...

5: Insert SD card into your card reader... make sure the lock slider is in the un-locked position like shown on the picture below...

6: Now download CardTricks v144 ( ) then extract click on CardTricks144.exe:

7: Click on SD Card icon.....Then select Canon SD Card and click OK.....

8: Click "Format as FAT" button....

9: Formatting will DESTROYALL DATA on card H:\Are you sure you want to continue? Click OK

10: Click "Make Bootable"it will make your camera able to boot from the SD card

Card is now bootable in Canon cams. Do not forget to set Write Protect on the card (slide tab up, away from the electric connectors) to take advantage of this feature. Click OK

11: Click CHDK->Card then locate the downloaded CHDK zip file (from step 4) and click OK

12: Please wait when CardTricks installing the CHDK....

When message above disappears you're done... CHDK exit (or press Esc)

13: Pull out the SD card from the lock the card...don't worry, image will still be saved to the locked card...

14: insert SD card to the camera then turn the camera on...

To go to CHDK menu press print button on the camera, you will see on the screen, then press menu button....

you can configure the extra camera settings from Menu button then press print button to exit from CHDK menu.....HDR image example created by using CHDK....

Normal photo How to disable CHDK on my camera?

HDR photo

Remove the SD card from the camera, unlock the card, insert the SD Card to the camera,turn on your camera... you will see CHDK is not loaded...How to enable CHDK again? Remove the SD card from the camera, lock the card, insert the SD Card to the

camera, turn on your camera... you will see CHDK is loaded...Visit to explore more information about CHDK.