Working with Jean-Paul DOMEN, Gérard AUVRAY,
electronic engineer and radio ham F6FAO, have used some 4m
(13 ft) diameter solar balloon for experiment (transmitted : temperatures,
Example : The 6 July 1997 at 9h30 a 4m takeoff from Arcachon with a 500 gr load : power card, analog to binary converter card analog /digital/format packet, card probe and, bip-bip transmitter. The balloon climbed to more than 18000m. The outside temperature was -50°C and polyethylene temperature got up to 80°C !. The balloon landed close of Marseille around 23h 30 !.
The localization of the balloon during the flight was made possible by radio ham ("chasse aux renards").
Working with Jean-Paul DOMEN, Gérard AUVRAY made a solar drone 6 m wingspan and weighing 7 kg. This drone will be carried to high altitude by a solar balloon then dropped (this will avoid climbing through the dense layers of the atmosphere). It should then in total autonomy cross the Atlantic !. It will use the stratospheric winds that goes from east to west opposite to the atmospheric currents), there will be no cloud at this height and the day zone also goes to the west . It will have to compute it's route with the help of a microprocessor linked to a GPS, and an inclinometer and to the engines.