CNES is teaming with the National Weather Service to release tethered blimps flying 100’ above the Pacific Ocean for a month or more French press release with cool pictures. The blimps drag a trail rope loaded with sensors through the water to maintain altitude. CNES calls the system an Aeroclipper.
The Aeroclipper is designed to mostly follow the wind, riding into the low pressure zones inside a storm. With luck an Aeroclipper will find a storm’s eye and ride there for up to 40 days in a 100mph (45m/s) winds.
The trail rope as ballast trick is an old trick invented by Charles Green in the 1830’s. Its real cool to see it going to good use in contemporary research.