This paper sets out to describe the utilization of an unmanned lighter-than-air vehicle as a sub- orbital airborne mission platform for the deployment of space technology telescopes allowing innovative space quality astronomy to be conducted. The paper describes how a low cost airship of relatively simple design can be produced that will be capable of operating in an unmanned remotely piloted mode from a base, fly to a pressure altitude, shut down engines, and operate in a free balloon stage for the period of experimental research. It will be shown that ballooning will allow the platform to be completely free from vibration, and in conjunction with high altitude and polar weather conditions minimize perturbation caused by weather. This paper outlines the technical features of the airship, the projected mission interfaces and the modus operandi of Airship delivery, ground base and missions operations, and final recovery.
John A. Miller,
"Airship platform for high-resolution space technology telescope", Proc. SPIE 2478, Space Telescopes and Instruments, (2 June 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.210914; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.210914