This kite is designed to lift quickly and easily in a slight
breeze. It is aimed at making a survivor at sea more visible.
It is launched automatically when the container it is in has been submerged for half a minute. Then a water activated mechanism will release a valve to inflate the balloon with helium. The balloon will lift the kite until the wind inflates the kite's wing-like structure.
The kite itself can include metallised strips to act as radar reflectors but its lifting power can be used for many purposes.
The purpose illustrated is to carry a small wind-powered generator but any device that can be assisted by being well above the general level of the sea can be carried if it is light enough.
Helpful devices include a strobe flash, (as shown above) a radio antenna and a secondary radar transponder beacon. The generator can provide enough power for intermittent operation of the radio beacon and the strobe flash. The strobe can be triggered by reception of a radio signal or a radar beam as well as by a simple timer.
The kite also has a further function. When attached to the lifebag life saving device it can help to keep the lifebag's hood in the windward direction. This will help to provide a survivor some protection from wind chill.
Copyright (C) W. H. James 14/6/1998
Wilf James,106 Jarden, Letchworth, Herts. SG6 2NZ, UK. Please send your comments to me at my new email address: wilf dot james at ntlworld dot com Note: Because I get so much spam I use the word Convention in the subject line as a filter. Please put the word Convention in the subject line of any email to me. It does not matter if the subject has nothing to do with conventions. Unexpected emails usually get mixed up with the trash and can be lost. The Convention filter keeps such emails out of the trash.