MARS will be based on an inflatable structure design filled with helium and will be connected to the ground using a strong cable which will also transfer the electricity created by its two rotors which will also supply additional lift when spinning in a wind. The aerodynamic effect that produces additional lift is called the Magnus Effect. The effect, which was first discovered by the German physicist Heinrich Magnus in 1853, is responsible for creating lift when a spherical or cylindrical object is spun while moving in a fluid. For instance a baseball curve ball pitch uses the Magnus effect. A large object like the MARS creates substantial lift, so much so that the device should actually work in a wind and stay stable, without using a lifting gas.
The MARS is actually less efficient than the best ground based wind turbines although the fact that it can be deployed above ground mechanical turbulence helps it increase its basic efficiency. One the other hand it is portable and should be very simple to install operate and maintain and fairly inexpensive. The MARS will require however a refill of its helium every six months or so which should not be very complicated and cost only a few hundred dollars at today’s helium prices.