Google's balloons for Project Loon go tubular

The tubular shape of the envelope improves the balloon’s ability to hold a greater differential pressure than previously developed spherical, ellipsoidal, or tetrahedral shaped balloon envelopes. The ability to hold a greater pressure increases a balloon’s ability to remain in the stratosphere for a longer period of time. Further, the tubular nature of the balloon envelope creates a much easier, streamlined, and cost-effective manufacturing process, in part due to the straight-line seams and symmetrical construction.

PatentYogi_Google Tubular Balloon_US9114866

Patent Information

Patent Number: US 9,114,866
Patent Title: Tubular superpressure balloon

Inventors: Roach; Kevin (Mountain View, CA)
Assignee: Google Inc. (Mountain View, CA)
Family ID: 1000000355190
Appl. No.: 13/861,280
Filed: April 11, 2013

Abstract: A balloon with a generally tubular shaped balloon envelope. The tubular shaped balloon envelope may comprise a number of gores, where each gore is shaped with two elongated edges and two vertices. The vertices of each gore may be located at the top and bottom of the balloon envelope. The gore edges may be sealed together at adjacent edges to seal the balloon such that it is airtight.