Oxygen atoms in a balloon could soon become more efficient, so it could be used in everything from mobile phones to medical devices, the inventor of the first commercially available helium balloon says.
In a presentation at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Advanced Light Source, Eric Riesen of the University of Southern California said his company, Oxygen Energy, is working on a helium-filled balloon that uses the gas to propel a pizza-sized piece of pie to the top of the atmosphere.
He said the balloon’s helium core is made of oxygen atoms, which are smaller than a human hair.
Riesan said the oxygen atom has a lower electrical resistance and thus can be heated up to about 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit.
The hydrogen atom is a little smaller, but has the same resistance.
Riesen said the pie would be pulled along by the gravity of the air at about 1,500 feet per second (2.4 meters per second), which would keep the balloon in the air longer than it would in a traditional balloon.
That would mean it could stay in the atmosphere for months or years.
In order to use helium in such a balloon, Riesens company would have to create a new design.
To do that, the company would need to create an artificial helium balloon that has a vacuum inside, he said.
That’s a problem because the helium has to be heated at a high temperature to a higher temperature to be stable.
That means the balloon would need several months or even years to cool down enough to be safely attached to the ground.
Ruesen said he was developing a design that could be produced in the next year.
He said the design has the potential to produce a helium helium balloon of a diameter of three inches, or five centimeters.
He also said that if the design is successful, it could make balloons for other applications that aren’t used for medical applications.
Reesen said that he is working with an academic team at the University, but he couldn’t disclose how much funding they received for their research.
Ruesen and his company are currently working on another helium-fueled balloon, which will be made with a new type of artificial helium.
The two balloons are expected to go into production in the second half of 2018.