Re: Launch condition optimisations
If you're worried about pendular swing, the easiest solution would be to damp it by hanging a weight from the bottom point of the whole megillah (from the bottom of the backplate?), using a long cord of a different length from the main balloon tether. A long, thin fiberglas rod with a weight on the end, hanging from a swivel shackle off of the backplate might be even better -- you just want something with a different period from the main tether and any oscillations should damp each other. You could even use two rods, of different lengths shackled together with the weight hanging from the bottom of the lower rod to really break the rhythms up, but that may be overkill. Of course, this DOES add weight to the ascender, but has the advantage of NOT adding significant complexity.