Lighter than Air Systems

By Prof. Rajkumar S. Pant   |   IIT Bombay
Learners enrolled: 1433
This course is designed to provide students an overview of Lighter-than-Air (LTA) systems, a subject of Aerospace Engineering that was once at the forefront of technological developments, but which got pushed into oblivion in late 1930s. The subject was revived in mid 1980s due to renewed interest in such systems for long endurance applications with low fuel consumption. The course will be conducted using the in-class recordings of 20 lectures of this course (by CDEEP) that were delivered by the instructor at IIT Bombay in Autumn Semester of 2015. There will be a monthly interaction video session with students, in which their doubts will be cleared. The students can also approach the instructor via e-mail, or on phone at some pre-specified time window.

INTENDED AUDIENCE Aeronautical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
INDUSTRIES  SUPPORT    ISRO, NAL, ADRDE, Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Aerospace Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1:   Background and Introduction to LTA systems
Week 2:   Historical Perspectives of LTA Systems
Week 3:   Airships developed at IITB 
Week 4:   Static Lift Concepts
Week 5:   Static Lift Estimation
Week 6:   Variation of Net Static Lift
Week 7:   Pressure Height Calculations
Week 8:   Envelope Materials and Ground Handling of LTA Systems
Week 9:   Airship Design Methodology
Week 10: Airship Propulsion Systems and Case studies in Airship Operation 
Week 11: Aerostat Design Methodology
Week 12: High Altitude Airships and Hybrid LTA systems

Books and references

1.Pant, R. S., Course Material for Design and Development of LTA systems, Curriculum Development Program, IIT Bombay, 2010.
2.Khoury, G., ed., Airship Technology, 2nd Edition, Cambridge Aerospace Series, Cambridge University Press, ISBN-13 978-1107019706, 2012.
3.Carichner, G. E., and Nicolai, L. M., Fundamentals of Aircraft and Airship Design, Volume 2 – Airship Design and Case Studies, AIAA Education Series, ISBN-13: 978-1600868986, 2013
4.Hunt, P. V., Advanced Airship Technologies and Design Approaches, AIAA Education Series, ISBN-13 978-1-62410-351-3, 2015.
5.Taylor, J. A., Principles of Aerostatics, The Theory of Lighter-Than-Air Aircraft, ISBN13:978-1-49481-053-5, 2014.

Instructor bio

Prof. Rajkumar S. Pant

IIT Bombay
Prof. Rajkumar S. Pant has Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering. His areas of specialization include Aircraft Conceptual Design, Air Transportation, and Optimization. He has been a member of faculty of Aerospace Engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay since December 1989. Prof. Pant is an alumnus of College of Aeronautics, Cranfield University, UK, where he earned his Ph.D. under Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme, IIT Madras, where he did his Masters in Aeronautical Engineering, and PEC Chandigarh where he underwent his undergraduate studies in Aeronautical Engineering. He has also worked for five years in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the Design & Engineering Department at Kanpur (3.5 years) and Nasik (1.5 years) Divisions. He has published and presented ~ 220 scientific papers, of which ~ 170 are in international journals and conferences. He has also visited several top ranking institutes and universities all over the world. Prof. Pant was a Visiting Professor at School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 2015-16, visiting faculty at Department of Aerospace & Ocean Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2010-11, and a visiting researcher at Instituto Tecnolgico de Aeronutica, Brazil in 2012, Texas A&M University in 2011, Cambridge University in 2008, and Imperial College London in 2006. In November 2012, he was appointed as a Special Visiting Researcher under the Science Without Borders program of the Brazilian Government for three years

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Bombay.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

MHRD logo Swayam logo


Goto google play store