Large Balloon Reflector for Remote Sensing

Case ID:

This technology is a suborbital antenna system that is suitable for operation from radio to millimeter wavelengths. The technology can be used for remote sensing of objects on the ground, in the atmosphere or in space. Super pressure balloons will be used to transport the technology and to maintain payloads of 2-3 tons in near space.

Remote sensing is a scientific method that involves using sensors to acquire information about the Earth's surface or other objects without physical contact. This is done using platforms such as airplane, satellites, and balloons to capture data, which can then be used to study various aspects of the environment. Remote sensing is used for a wide range of purposes and has become an important tool for scientists and policymakers in many different fields.

The current lift capabilities of available stratospheric balloons cause difficulties in the launch of larger antennas problematic or nearly impossible. Due to these issues in current stratospheric balloons, the inventor has developed a new method of balloon remote sensing that uses the near spherical shape of the balloon as a reflector.


  • Remote sensing of objects on the ground, atmosphere, or space
  • Stratospheric science missions


  • Uses the spherical shape of the balloon as a reflector
  • Operates in a variety of wavelengths
  • Cost efficient method
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Richard Weite
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Christopher Walker