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Publication numberUS1296687 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 11, 1919
Filing dateFeb 16, 1917
Priority dateFeb 16, 1917
Publication numberUS 1296687 A, US 1296687A, US-A-1296687, US1296687 A, US1296687A
InventorsHarold W Nichols
Original AssigneeWestern Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Means for signaling from captive balloons.
US 1296687 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

H. w. NICHOLS. MEANS FOR SlGNALI Nu' FROM CAPTIVE BALLOONS.

APPLICATION FILED FEB. 16. I91

Patented Mar. 11,1919.

To all whom it may concern:

ratus for signaling.

UNITED STATES PATENT oFFioEi HAROLD WQNICHOLS, OF MAPLEWOOD, NEW JERSEY, ASSIGNOR TO WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY, INCORPORATED, OF NEW YORK, N. Y., A CORPORATION OF NEW YORK.

. MEANS FOR SIGNALING- FROM CAPTIVE BALLOONS.

Application filed l ebruary 16, 1917. Serial No. 148,998

Be it known that I, HAROLD W. NIcHoLs, a citizen of the United States, residing at Mapllewood, in the county of Essex and State of ew Jersey, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Means for Signaling from Captive Balloons, of which the following is a full, clear, concise, and exact description.

This invention relates to means and appa- More particularly, it relates to means for establishing communication between an anchored balloon and the earth.

Balloons, such as are used for observation purposes, are generally anchored to earth by some suitable means, such as a single metallic cable, for controlling theheight of ,the balloon above the ground. In case of such anchored balloons, it is often very desirable to have some means of intercom-munication with the ground without complicating the anchoring apparatus thereby.

The object of this invention. is to furnish a simple and efficient means for carrying on such communication without introducing any additional conductors between the balloon and the earth, and without adding appreciably to the weight supported by the balloon.

For the accomplishment of this purpose, this invention employs the conducting qualities of the) single cable connecting the balloon to earth as one side of a signaling circult, and completes the circuit by means of the capacity between the balloon and the ground. A source of voltage for said circuit is' provided at the grounded end of the anchored strand, and, at both the earth and the balloon, means are provided for varying the current in said circuit in accordance with the signals to be sent, and for detecting said variations. V

For the better understanding of this invention reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which Figures 1 and 2 illustrate two embodiments of this invention; and Fig. 3 illustrates means for increasing the capacity of the balloon with respect to the earth, therebyproviding for a more efficient transmission of the signals. Fig. 1 illustrates this invention as adapted to a telegraphic signaling system in which the signaling at both the balloon and the g ound is accomplished by varying the elec- Specification of Letters Patent.

rammed Mar. 11,1919.

at the The balloon 4L is shown anchored to the earth by means of the conducting cable 5. The capacity between the conductive surface of the balloon and the ground is represented by the condenser 6. The combination of the cable and the capacity of the balloon with respect to the earth comprises ;tlie complete telegraphic circuit for which a source of alternating current? is provided. It is preferable that the sonrce 7 In order to rovide for intercommimication between t e balloon and the ground,-

" trical energy from a single source situated keys ll, 12 and l3 are provided for making and breaking the circuit. If, now, it is desired to signal from the earth to the balloon, key 13 is closed and key 11 is. operated in accordance with the signals to be sent, thereby causing changes in the alternating current surging to and from the balloon capacity. Corresponding changes will occur in the indicating instrument 9. If it is desired to signal fromthe balloon to the earth, key

11 is closed, and key 12 is operated in accordance wlth the signals to be transmitted, while key 13 remains open. Opening and closing key 12 causes variations in the curas constituting a transmitting antenna of a" wireless system, and that, by breaking the circuit betweenthe balloon and the 'cable by means of the key 12, the effective length of the antenna is varied, thereby changing correspondingly the current flowing therein.

It is, therefore, advantageous to have the grounded capacity of the balloon as large as.

In order to furnish means at the upper end of the cable for varying. the current flowing therethrough, Wine insulating J the earth.

means of suitable strength? shown here as a porcelain insulator 14, is provided for maintaining the anchorage of the balloon, while allowing for the breaking of the conductive connection between the balloon and This insulator may be located within the basket 15 or may be some distance below as shown in the drawing. Inthe latter case it would then be preferable to have the lead' wires to the keys 12 and 13 and instrument 90f sufficient length to enable the ap pa-ratus to be conveniently located for the operator in the basket. 16is a winch on which the cable may be wound or unwound, thereby providing means for lowerin the balloon or allowing it to rise. This winch, although resting on the ground, is insulated therefrom. The conductive connection be- "tween the balloon and the ground is continued through the,, part 20 of the cable,

the inductance 19 and "the generator 7 to the ground connection 21. This part of the cable is shown to be electrically connected to the main part of the cable by means of the adjust-able contact 22. It is apparent, however, that the contact from the portion 20 may be to any part of the winch which is electrically connected to the cable 5. The variable inductance 19 may be used if desired for. the purpose of tuning the signaling circuit to the frequency of the generator 7, which tuning may be done either with key 12 open or with it closed. In order to insure maximum sensitiveness when si aling to the balloon, it is preferable that the tuning be made with key 12 open and key 13 closed. This tuning may be -accom plished by adjusting the variable inductance 19 until the instrument 8 indicates a. maximum current value. Any suitable insulated means, other than the winch illustrated, may be employed on which the cable may be wound.

'Fig. 2 illustrates the system as adapted for telephonic communication between the ground and the balloon. As in Fig. 1, the signaling circuit consists of the cable 5, connecting the balloon 4 to earth, and the capacity of said balloon to earth, represented by the condenser 6. 25 is a source of power for said circuit, shown hre as a source of high frequency oscillations. By means of transformers 26 and 27, the oscillations from the source 25 are impressed upon circuits 28, 29 and 30, 31, respectively.

Circuits 28 and 30 are each provided with \a suitable telephone transmitter, 33 and 34,-

respectively. Included in circuit 31 is a wave detector 35 and a receiver of electrical oscillations 36 which are shunted bymeans of a condenser '37. Similarly, circuit 29 includes a wave detector 38 and a receiver 39 which are shunted by means of condenser 42. If, now, it is desired to signal from the balloon to the ground, the impedance of pedance cause corresponding changes in the efi'ective lmpe-dance of the signaling circuit, and, consequently, corresponding variations occurin the amplitude of the oscillations in said signaling circuit. By means of transformer 26 at the grounded end of the cable these changes affect the circuit 29 containing the detector 38. Rectified currents .then actuate the receiver 39, giving rise to audio-frequency oscillations corresponding to the signals transmitted. Similarly, if it isdesired to communicate from the ground to the balloon, the oscillations in circuit 28 are varied in accordance with the audio-frequency oscillations from the transmitter '33, which variations, by means of thetransformers 26 and 27 and the signaling circuit, are impressed upon the detector 35. The rectifiedcurrents from said detector then actuate the receiver 36.

As in Fig. 1, a winch 16 is provided for winding or unwinding the cable. In order to allow the transformer winding 27.to be free from the necessary tension on the cable, an insulating means 40 is provided near the balloon end of the cable capable of withstanding such tension. The transformer 27 1s shunted around this insulation so that the conducting path to the earth is not broken. From the reel the conductive path leads through adjustable contact 22 and inductance 41 to the ground connection 21. The variable inductance *1 may be used, if desired, for the purpose of tuning the signaling circuit to the frequency of the generator 25, and thereby increasing the sensitivleness of the signaling circuit to the signa s.

In order to insure maximum sensitiveness system to have the capacity of the ballon to earth rather large in value. If the network 44' should be ,made of insulation material such as a cordor rope netting instead of a Wire network, some means should be employed for increasing the conductive surface of the balloon. Obviously, one way of so doing would be to make the entire surface of the balloon conductive, by sheets of tin-foil,

for example Fig. 3, however, shows two more convenlent methods for accomplishing the same result. .One method is by means of a conducting network consisting of the wires 45 and 46 wound around the balloon at right angles to each other, and connected to the cable proper by means of the conductor 47. It is ob.- ious, however, that the network may be of any suitable complexity. What is desned is to increase the capacity of that part of the system above the key 12 of Fig. 1 or the transformer 27 of Fig. 2 so as to make the change in current as large as possible when the signals are being sent. Therefore, this increase may also be accomplished by simply connecting a second balloon 48 by a metallic'conductor 49 either to the conductive network of the first balloon, as shown in Fig. 3, or to the anchoring cable proper.'

It is obvious that the signaling system illustrated by these drawings may undergo various modifications without departing in any wise from the spirit of this invention as set forth in the appended claims.

What is claimedis:

1. An electric conductor having only one end grounded, means having appreciable capacity to ground of said conductor, an electric circuit comprising said conductor and said capacity means, means for signaling over said circuit comprising a source of electrical energy near the grounded end of said conductor, means at the ungrounded end for varying the power from said source in accordance with the signals to be transmitted, and means at the grounded end for detecting said variations.

2. In a system for signaling, means having appreciable capacity to earth, an anchoring cable connecting said means to earth, an electric circuit comprising said means and said cable, means for signaling over said circuit comprising a source of alternating current voltage at the grounded end of said cable, means associated with said capacity means for changing the power from said source, and an indicator of said change near the ground.

3. In a signaling system, an aerial vessel, a single conductor connecting said vessel to earth, an electric circuit comprising said conductor and the capacity of said vessel to earth, a single source-of alternating curat the ungrounded end rent voltage for said circuit at the grounded, and of said conductor, means near the ground for changing the flow of current in said conductor and an indicator of said change in said vessel.

4:. An electric conductor of variable length having only one end grounded, means having appreciable capacity to ground at the ungrounded end of said conductor, an electric circuit comprising said conductor and said capacitytmeans, said circuit comprising a source of alternating current voltage near the grounded end of said conductor, means for tuning said circuit to the frequency of said source, means at the ungrounded end for varying the power from said source in accordance with the signals to be transmitted, and means at the grounded end for detecting said variations.

5. In a signaling system, an aerial vessel, a single conductor connecting said vessel to earth, means comprising a second aerial vessel attached to said first vessel for increasing the capacity of said first named vessel to ground, an electric circuit comprising said conductor and the capacity of said vessels to ground, a single source of alternating current voltage for said circuit at the grounded end of said conductor, means near the ground for changing the flow of current in said conductor, and an indicator of said change in said first vessel.

6. In a signaling system, an aerial vessel, means comprising a single conductor for anchoring said vessel to the earth, an electric circuit comprising said conductor, said vessel and the capacity the ground, a source of current at the grounded end of said conductor, means at one end of said conductor for varying the current in said circuit in accordance with the signals to be transmitted, and means at the other end of said conductor for detecting said variations, thereby providing for intercommunication between said vessel and the earth.

In witness whereof, I hereunto subscribe my name this 15th day of February, A. 'D.,

HAROLD W. NICHOLS.

means for signaling over 7 ,7

between said vessel and

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2418104 *Jan 5, 1944Mar 25, 1947Asea AbSignaling arrangement in a cable system
US2424598 *Apr 11, 1944Jul 29, 1947Int Standard Electric CorpAdjustable aerial
US2494430 *Mar 29, 1948Jan 10, 1950Carnwath James RRotating kite
US2593427 *Jan 23, 1945Apr 22, 1952Us Sec WarCounterpoise
US2599705 *Jun 16, 1948Jun 10, 1952Gen Motors CorpShort wave antenna
US2990836 *Sep 24, 1958Jul 4, 1961Birdair StructuresAir inflated structure and control
US3142063 *Mar 28, 1961Jul 21, 1964Jr William M GoetzmannBalloon mounted antenna with reeling and storage container
US3229517 *Dec 3, 1962Jan 18, 1966Smith Charles ArthurAerological mapping arrangement
US4051479 *Mar 17, 1976Sep 27, 1977Trw Inc.Elf vertical dipole antenna suspended from aircraft
US4476576 *Sep 30, 1982Oct 9, 1984Westinghouse Electric Corp.VLF Communication system
US4903036 *Dec 22, 1988Feb 20, 1990Westinghouse Electric Corp.VLF communication system
US4999640 *Sep 5, 1989Mar 12, 1991Westinghouse Electric Corp.Aerostat tether lighting apparatus
US5007367 *Dec 12, 1988Apr 16, 1991Matteucci Lawrence AInflatable balloon distress signal device
US5065163 *Aug 20, 1990Nov 12, 1991Radarfind, Inc.Reusable deployable antenna
US5645248 *Aug 15, 1994Jul 8, 1997Campbell; J. ScottLighter than air sphere or spheroid having an aperture and pathway
US6010093 *Apr 28, 1999Jan 4, 2000Paulson; Allen E.High altitude airship system
US7325773 *Jun 30, 2005Feb 5, 2008Gregory J. GorrieKite winch and method for pulling-in a kite
US7567779Sep 16, 2005Jul 28, 2009International Multi-Media CorporationSub-orbital, high altitude communications system
US7844218Aug 23, 2005Nov 30, 2010International Multi-Media CorporationSub-orbital, high altitude communications system
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/384.7, 343/706, 343/708, 89/1.51, 343/877
Cooperative ClassificationG08B3/10