SSBV Aerospace & Technology Group and Zero 2 Infinity today announced the signing of an agreement regarding the use of SSBV’s Aerial Cargo Rider System (ACRIDS) airdrop and vehicle recovery technology for the guided recovery of the Bloon Near Space vehicle. Bloon, developed by Zero 2 Infinity, represents a family of low-cost high-altitude vehicles that will allow amateur Space explorers to experience Near Space conditions. The Bloon vehicles use helium balloons for their lift-off and flight and will be able to carry up to 6 people in a pressurized pod. After a drift of a few hours at a nominal altitude of 36 km, the vehicles return to the ground by means of parachutes.
In addition to Near Space tourism flights, Bloon can be used for cost effective scientific missions. SSBV’s ACRIDS system is able to autonomously control a steerable parachute and perform an automatic landing at a predesignated point on the ground. This is done through an Autonomous Guidance Unit (AGU) that contains an on-board computer that continuously monitors the present location (by means of satellite navigation signals), altitude, wind and predicted flight-path. Through built-in actuators, the AGU is able to steer the parachute and perform a high precision landing (50-100 m accuracy) at one or more predesignated landing points. The agreement establishes a long term cooperation between the companies, starting with a number of test and demonstration flights with the final aim of integrating the ACRIDS guided parachute technology in the Bloon vehicles.
Zero 2 Infinity is a Spanish private company developing a family of low-cost high-altitude vehicles for amateur Space explorers to experience Near Space conditions. In 2012 the company performed a successful flight up to an altitude of 32 km with a 300 kg unmanned scaled model of the vehicle. In this test flight, the recovery of the vehicle was performed with a ballistic round parachute. However, the objective for the future flights is to make use of the ACRIDS guided recovery system.
SSBV Aerospace & Technology Group is a technological Dutch-headed group active in the domains of (aero)Space, defence and security, remote sensing and monitoring, and the development of high-tech Systems. SSBV develops and manufactures the ACRIDS airdrop system in the defence and security, as well as aerospace markets. The ACRIDS airdrop technology can be used for standalone precision airdrop systems as well as air-vehicle recovery systems to increase the safety and accuracy of nominal, tactical or emergency landings.