About the challenge in brief

iCreate Lighter Than Air Challenge

iCreate is excited to announce the Lighter Than Air Challenge (iLTAC), a unique opportunity to push the boundaries of Lighter than Air (LTA) technologies. Despite their historical use and numerous benefits, LTA technologies like balloons and airships have yet to achieve their full potential in modern applications. iLTAC aims to bridge this gap by bringing together researchers, startups, and enthusiasts to design, build, and demonstrate innovative LTA systems.

Challenge Overview:

iCreate aims to stimulate innovation in developing and applying lighter than air systems. Since Lighter than air (LTA) technologies, such as balloons and airships, have been around for centuries, yet their potential for modern applications is still underexplored and underutilized. Despite the historical use and proven benefits of LTA technologies, there remains a significant gap in their widespread adoption and integration into modern systems. This is largely due to technical, economic, and material challenges that limit their effectiveness and efficiency. iCreate’s Lighter Than Air Challenge (LTAC) will bring together researchers, startups and enthusiasts to design, build, and demonstrate various LTA systems, focusing on advancements in materials, aerodynamics, and high-altitude capabilities. The challenge themes will be categorized according to different interests and expertise levels, including a special emphasis on the use of advanced materials like aerogels and a high-altitude balloon category.

Access to state-of-the-art research facilities and laboratories

Incubation support and funding opportunities of up to 50 lakh through iCreate

Exposure to markets and potential investors

Mentoring support from industry experts

Challenge Themes

  1. High Altitude Balloon (HAB)

Objective:  Design and launch a high altitude balloon to the stratosphere, collect data, and ensure safe recovery.


  •      Maximum altitude achieved
  •     Quality and quantity of collected data (e.g., atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity)
  •      Safety and recovery mechanisms
  •      Use of innovative materials and technology


  1. Aerogel Innovation in LTA Systems

Objective:  Integrate aerogels into LTA systems to enhance performance through weight reduction, insulation, and structural integrity.


  •      Effective use of aerogels
  •      Demonstrated improvement in performance
  •      Originality and feasibility
  •      Practical application and scalability


  1. Aerodynamically Shaped Tethered Balloons (Kytoons)

Objective:  Develop a kytoon that remains stable in various wind conditions and demonstrates enhanced stability and lift.


  •      Stability in different wind conditions
  •      Maximum achievable altitude
  •      Efficiency in lift and drag reduction
  •      Innovative design and material usage


  1. Buoyancy Engineering and Payload Challenge

Objective:  Create an LTA system capable of carrying a specified payload for a set duration while maintaining stability and control.


  •      Maximum payload capacity
  •      Flight duration and stability
  •      Control mechanisms
  •      Efficiency and innovation in design

Who Can Apply:

We invite startups, innovators, academics, and researchers committed to technological advancement and entrepreneurship. All applications must be supported by:

  • Sound Research: Evidence of rigorous research underpinning the innovations.
  • Working Level Proof of Concept: A minimum working prototype or demonstrable proof of concept.
  • Disclaimer: Selection and support are at the sole discretion of iCreate and are subject to final review by our panel of experts.

Soar Higher with iCreate: Unleashing the Potential of Lighter Than Air Systems