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Perpetually orbiting balloons refuel themselves with water from the atmosphere
Solar cells atop these balloons provide electricity that
water to get hydrogen for lift and to power the fuel cells at
During this night cycle they'd dip lower into the
troposphere to replenish their water supply by
sucking moisture laden air through a condensing system.
water would be broken into it's base elements by
solar cells in the morning.
To save weight, the balloon itself could be used as a
parabolic reflector to focus the sun's rays on a relatively
small solar panel array situated at the top of the unit. The
bottom half of the balloon could be
mirrored while the top half would be clear focusing the
light on the underside of this two sided solar panel
maximizing the power output with no added weight.
Motors would tilt the
unit towards the sun at the optimum angle.
Theoretically these could stay
for years and be used to cheaply replace some orbital
satellites for communication, weather monitoring etc.
||I generally like big floating semi-autonomous things, so bun for you.
||How would you keep them located where you want them?
||You might be able to get away with just having them
float around freely. Make them cheap enough that
they're disbursed relatively evenly around the
||It might also be possible to do some station keeping
them dip in and out of wind currents going in the
direction you want. Dip into the jet-stream just long
enough to get back on station relative to the other
||In other words, I don't know. Hadn't thought that far