Raven Industries Manufactured Balloon Sets Records

Raven Aerostar’s Zero Pressure Envelope Sets a Record for the Highest Altitude and Largest Balloon to Carry an Amateur Radio Telemetry System

Apr 4th 2011, 15:48

Sioux Falls, SD - On March 4, 2011, Raven Aerostar designed and manufactured Zero Pressure Balloon, flown by Cornell University graduate students, recently broke the world Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning records for highest altitude and largest balloon envelope. The near-space flight reached a maximum altitude of 135,030 feet and the envelope’s fully expanded volume arrived at a record breaking 141,000 cubic feet.
This flight is part of a graduate program in Systems Engineering at Cornell University. The program has continued to use high altitude balloons as platforms to provide low-cost and fast turnaround solutions. The involved teams have designed and constructed the payload tracking systems and radio frequency data links using amateur radio systems. Aerostar’s high reliability balloons provide a true space mission experience for the Cornell Students. Mike Smith, a Raven Aerostar Aerospace Engineer said, “The Cornell program is the perfect example of what we would like to see at universities all over the country.  There is no other platform that provides young engineers with the real space mission feel without having to wait years for a ride on an orbital vehicle.  Furthermore, instruments can be recovered, upgraded, and re-flown in a matter of weeks.” Aerostar balloons can loiter at constant altitude for hours or days, allowing long term observation and equipment check-out in a space equivalent environment.
Raven Aerostar’s High Altitude Balloon Plant, located in Sulphur Springs, TX, can trace its roots to the beginning of modern stratospheric ballooning in the late 1940’s. Since that time, the technology has grown to allow payloads of over three tons to be carried to altitudes of over 130,000 ft. Balloon operations are much less expensive than orbital missions, and project time lines are much shorter. At the student level, the low cost, fast turnaround balloon projects promote a sense of schedule responsibility that is not possible with student satellite projects. Alternative methods can take years before a student satellite makes it into orbit.

About Aerostar International

Aerostar International, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raven Industries (Nasdaq NGS: RAVN), a U.S. manufacturer providing Aerospace Products, Military Products, Tethered Aerostats, Protective Wear, Marine Navigation Products and Custom Inflatables to various markets. Raven Aerostar has been involved in lighter-than-air products since the 1950’s.  Today, Aerostar engineers and manufactures aerostats for military and non-military use.  Aerostar also manufactures personnel and cargo parachutes for the U.S. Army, protective wear for all branches of the military, high-altitude super-pressure balloons for NASA, high-altitude airships for the Space Missile Defense Command and custom character inflatables for the largest Thanksgiving Day Parade and theme parks.

About Raven Industries, Inc.

Since 1956, Raven Industries has designed and manufactured high-quality, high-value technical products.  Raven is publicly traded on NASDAQ (RAVN) and has earned an international reputation for innovation, product quality, high performance and unmatched service.  With strengths in engineering, manufacturing, and technological innovation, Raven serves the  precision agriculture, high performance specialty films, aerospace, and electronic manufacturing services markets. 

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including statements regarding the expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future.  Without limiting the foregoing, the words “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” ”intends,” “may,” “plans,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.  The company intends that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.  Although management believes that the expectations reflected in forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance these assumptions are correct or that these expectations will be achieved.  Assumptions involve important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect results in the future.  These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those relating to [inability to achieve objectives established for research and development activities], production inefficiencies related to adding new capacity and new capabilities to tethered aerostat production, variability of releases under [indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ)] US government contracts; or changes in competition, raw material availability, technology or relationships with the company’s largest customers—any of which could adversely affect any of the company’s product lines—as well as other risks described in Raven’s 10-K under Item 1A.  This list is not exhaustive, and the company does not have an obligation to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date these statements are made.