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Posted by on Oct 9, 2012 in Science |

Technologies that allow supersonic jump Felix Baumgartner

Tomorrow, the skydiver will attempt to break the sound barrier by jumping from the stratosphere (over 36,500 feet). Your freefall will be long, and that manages to survive, you need a number of items that will help to support the lack of pressure, temperature changes, and brake in time to reach the ground safely.

The event will be broadcast live on Red Bull Stratos , the team behind this feat. Baumgartner will be launched from the airport Roswell, New Mexico, and if all goes well, you will land in a designated place for this in the neighborhood.

The advances developed to achieve this leap could help in creating better spacesuits, creating protocols altitude exposure and acceleration, and learn more about the effects on the human body acceleration and deceleration from the same, plus innovation in the development of parachutes.

These are some of the elements that will be present in the jump.

Space suit

The current spacesuits are not manufactured for high speed and free falls, so that the equipment used by Baumgartner has special modifications that would be useful for the aerospace industry.

The paratrooper costume is designed on the basis of which are used by pilots of very tall buildings, but modified to provide better mobility needed to make this leap. Baumgartner also need good vision to face the fall, for what is given added mirrors a broader view of the parachutist.

The suit is designed to keep the pressure around the body, to a level similar to that which is 10,000 meters, level help avoid symptoms of decompression. Also prevent your blood boil, a phenomenon that could occur on the 18,800 meters.

Provides protection in a temperature range between -68° C and + 38° C. The outside of the suit is made of a fire retardant material, and insulation against cold. It has a controller that regulates and maintains the pressure at different altitudes.

It also brings a ventilation system that allows entry of cold air or warm during ascent. The warm air would prevent cool while Baumgartner rises, while cold air would prevent perspiration, which could tarnish the viewer.

Safety Communications

Baumgartner chest take a box and store information report speed, position and altitude parachutist, to be given to the drivers of the mission. Includes a voice transmitter and receiver connected to your helmet, an HD camera with 120° view, a system to verify if it can record the team hopes to accomplish, and several units for measurements.

Helmet and visor

The helmet is made of composite materials to be relatively thin (3.2 kilos) and at the same time sturdy. Includes oxíqueno regulator which will supply the gas for the parachutist to breathe. During the ascent, the oxygen come from a pond on the ship, while in the fall use portable oxygen cylinders.

The viewer is made to avoid distortions in the light, it is very important to allow Baumgartner is facing in the descent and landing. It has a separate cover for the sun which can be adjusted by Baumgartner, and a heating system that prevents fogging or freezing.

The display also includes a microphone and headphones to keep the connected to control equipment, and a bulb with water to keep hydrated.


As these break a record, among other things, the event is recorded by multiple cameras, some adapted to resist the absence of gravity, the changes of temperature and low pressure, among others.

The capsule will rise nine high-definition cameras, three 4K resolution and recorded in three photographs taken. Four cameras are outside of the capsule, eight will be protected by the cover of the capsule, but also outdoors, and three are on the inside. All are controlled remotely.

Meanwhile, the suit has three small cameras for high-resolution video (one in each thigh and chest). These cameras must be operated under conditions similar to those of space for about 20 minutes, falling to supersonic velocity, and in any orientation in which they are.

Some of the cameras used special filters because of the intensity of the sun at that altitude.

To achieve the live broadcast to Earth, they created a system called “Joint Long-Range Imaging and Aerospace Relay” or JLAIR, which keeps track of the cameras from the earth. In the control room, technicians can choose the best images sent by the cameras in real time and send the control command of the mission, or transmit to the spectators of the event.

Additionally, there will be a helicopter equipped with a camera HD v14 Cineflex gyro-stabilized which will take the capsule and Baumgartner.


A large balloon filled with helium rise to the capsule into the stratosphere. Polyethylene is constructed with only 0.002 cm thick, and whether the material stretch out, cover 162 square meters. Has 850 cubic meters capacity. Upon ascending, be slim and long, and as you are going round again, reaching a diameter of 130 meters.

Be used to inflate with helium filled two trucks.


No doubt, a vital part of this experiment. So far there has been used a parachute to stop a free fall from so high. The container will Baumgartner stabilization parachute landing and two (main and a spare). The parachute harness has two oxygen bottles, which will provide the gas for 10 minutes each while in height.

The stabilization parachute was designed to deploy at supersonic speed, and was created to function independently at main parachute. If Baumgartner reaches 3.5 G for 6 seconds, the parachute opens automatically stabilization. The parachutist will also be able to open it if you find it necessary.

The main parachute, of 25 square meters, is opened by order of Baumgartner (not automatic) and is expected to be deployed to 1524 meters high. Both the main parachute and the reserve are expected to operate at a speed of 277 km / h so that Baumgartner need to slow to work properly.

The parachutist also has an electronic automatic activation called CYPRES 2, which automatically deploys the reserve parachute if the first does not work.

Link: Red Bull Stratos

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