Documentation

Balloon storage and shelf life

  1. Balloons should be kept in their original packing until required for preflight preparations.
  2. Store away from direct sunlight.
  3. Store away from sources of heat.
  4. Store away from electrical sources.
  5. Balloons should be stored at room temperatures between 15°C to 28°C (59°F – 82°F). For longer shelf life storing below 10°C is desired, allow balloon(s) to be brought to room temperature a week before use.
  6. Care should be taken to see that they do not come into contact with oil or any other substance that may penetrate the wrapping and damage the balloons.
  7. When stored under conditions mentioned above, the shelf life of balloons is 12 months from the date of shipment.

Before flight balloon handling tips

  1. At all times handle balloon with soft rubber gloves, latex gloves or soft cotton gloves. Oils from your skin can contaminated the balloons latex and affect overall performance.
  2. Care should be taken to avoid contact of the balloon with the ground. There should ideally be a protective plastic sheet between the balloon and the ground.
  3. The balloon should be kept under a shelter until everything is ready for its launch. Prolonged exposure to bright sunshine while inflation and prior to launch should be avoided as this may affect the balloon fabric and may even result in its bursting before leaving the ground.
  4. Inflate the balloon a maximum of 45 minutes before the actual flight.
  5. Balloons should be inflated slowly due to a sudden expansion which may cause weak spots in the balloon film.
  6. It is desirable to provide a fine adjustment valve for regulating the gas flow.

What are the lifting capacities of helium and hydrogen?

Hydrogen is the lighter of the two gases. In general hydrogen lifts 31.8 grams per cubic foot at sea level while helium lifts 28.2 grams per cubic foot at sea level. Due to the combustible nature of hydrogen gas, it is recommended that the user should undergo proper training for handling and safety.

How much gas to use to inflate the balloon?

This will vary on the type of gas used, payload weight, balloon model, and desired elevation. The most common method is to measure the balloons positive lift. There are several online calculators that can help you determine an appropriate positive lift weight to aim for. We recommend to have enough positive lift that will allow the balloon to ascend between 4 – 6 meters per second.

Does Vanam offer balloon filling adapters?

We can provide filling adapters/nozzles at no extra charge with bulk orders over 500 balloons. The nozzle is made of high quality powder coated aluminum to prevent corrosion in extreme weather conditions. In addition, our adapters can be made in a custom specified weight to be used as a positive lift tool. Contact us to get a quote.

Popped balloon during inflation?

Our weather balloons are designed to stretch evenly in each direction for a long and high altitude flight. Unfortunately their ability to stretch to these extreme sizes makes them much more susceptible for popping. Some tips to avoid accidentally popping a balloon on the ground include:

  • Remove jewelry or apparel with sharp edges (glasses, rings, watches, etc.)
  • Always use a plastic sheet to cover the ground around the balloon during inflation – twigs, stones, and debris will pop balloons.
  • Do not inflate near trees or in highly windy conditions. Larger balloons can be especially difficult to control in windy environments.
  • It is often handy to have additional people around to stabilize the balloons during inflation, especially for the 1200g or 2000g balloons.

Balloon landed or popped at a lower altitude than expected?

Balloons can pop at lower altitudes for a number of reasons. Some common causes of low altitude bursts include:

  • Oil or dirt contaminating the latex balloon on the ground.
  • Not enough positive lift. Aim to have between 4-6 meters per second of positive lift. Too little lift can cause the balloon to float at a low altitude and remain in the sky for a long time without popping.
  • Too small of a balloon for the payload.
  • Major temperature changes can cause changes with the lifting gases.
  • Our balloons are made with a uniquely customized formula and manufactured by PAWAN specifically to perform better than any other weather balloons on the market. Unfortunately with almost any modern manufacturing process there will be occasional defects. Our balloons are reliable and we test them frequently to make sure the quality is consistent.

How to calculate the payload weight for a parachute.

The parachutes payload should include your flight-package weight and the balloon weight. When the balloon bursts, much of the weather balloon remnants will remain attached to the line. At times these remnants can be upwards of 75% of the original balloon weight. If your flight-package is too lightweight, it can cause the system to descend balloon-first. Aim to have your flight-package weight to be 50% of the balloons total weight. 

What shipping options does Vanam offer?

We use International Couriers such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, TNT World Wide Express and International Speed Post (EMS). The choice of carrier is based on destination country as well as customer preference if any. However, if there is a specific customer request, we also ship larger orders by DHL, FedEx or TNT World Wide Express. For large orders we ship by Air Freight to the nearest major international airport to the customer as this is most economical.

Looking for more information?

We’re happy to answer some questions and care tips that we may have missed. If you have a question fill out this form and we’ll get back to you with an answer.

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