The objective of the proposed work is to increase the set of possible exploration and science missions on Mars by investigating thefeasibility of flapping wing aerospace architectures in a Martian environment. The proposed architecture consists of a Mars rover that serves as a mobile base and a swarm of Marsbees.
Marsbees are robotic flapping wing flyers of a bumblebee size with cicada sized wings. The Marsbees are integrated with sensors and wireless communication devices. The mobile base can act as a recharging station and main communication center. The swarm of Marsbee can significantly enhance the Mars exploration mission with the following benefits: i) Facilitating reconfigurable sensor networks; ii) Creation of resilient systems; iii) Sample or data collection using single or collaborative Marsbees.
Key technical innovation includes the use of insect-like compliant wings to enhance aerodynamics and a low power design. High lift coefficients will be achieved by properly achieving dynamic similarity between the bioinspired insect flight regime and the Mars environment. Our preliminary numerical results suggest that a bumblebee with a cicada wing can generate sufficient lift to hover in the Martian atmosphere. Moreover, the power required by the Marsbee will be substantially reduced by utilizing compliant wing structures and an innovative energy harvesting mechanism. Because of the ultra-low Martian density, the power is dominated by the inertial power. A torsional spring mounted at the wing root to temporarily store otherwise wasted energy and reduce the overall inertial power at resonance. Whereas rotary wing concepts are much more mature in both design and control, these two innovations are uniquely suited to bioinspired flapping vehicles and provide flying near the Martian terrain as a viable means of mobility.
From a systems engineering perspective, the Marsbee offers many benefits over traditional aerospace systems. The smaller volume, designed for the interplanetary spacecraft payload configuration, provides much more flexibility. Also, the Marsbee inherently offers more robustness to individual system failures. Because of its relatively small size and the small volume of airspace needed to test the system, it can be validated in a variety of accessible testing facilities.
The proposed work combines expertise and talent from the US and Japan in a multidisciplinary program to address fundamental aspects of flapping wing flight in Martian atmosphere. The University of Alabama in Huntsville team will numerically model, analyze, and optimize a flapping flyer for Martian atmospheric conditions. The Japanese team will develop and test a micro flapping robot, uniquely designed and constructed for the low-density atmosphere on Mars. The hummingbird Micro-Air Vehicle (MAV), developed by the Japanese team is one of only a few robotic flappers in the world that can fly on Earth.
The objective of Phase I is to determine the wing design, motion, and weight that can hover with optimal power in the Mars atmospheric condition using a high-fidelity numerical model and to assess the hummingbird MAV in the Mars conditions. The aerodynamic performance of the hummingbird MAV will be assessed in a vacuum chamber with the air density reduced to the Mars density. Systems engineering optimization will be performed as well for the entire mission. The maneuverability, wind gust rejection, take-off/landing, power implications, remote sensing, and mission optimization will be addressed in Phase II.
The Latest on: Mars exploration
via Google News
The Latest on: Mars exploration
- Mars InSight Lander Sends Home Glamour Shots of Goleta-Made Solar Arrays on December 17, 2018 at 10:04 pm
Even Mars isn’t safe from selfies ... for InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. The solar arrays were manufactured at the Northrop Grumman I... […]
- NASA Begins America's New Moon to Mars Exploration Approach in 2018 on December 17, 2018 at 1:00 pm
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- NASA welcomed a new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, deputy administrator, Jim Morhard, and chief financial officer, Jeff DeWit, in 2018. Their focus is on fir... […]
- Acting Took Roxy Sternberg To 'Mars' Now She's Wants To Explore New Terrain on December 17, 2018 at 12:47 pm
Throughout the six-episode series, which is now in its second season, Jen and her colleagues represent the often-maligned business side of scientific exploration ... actress told ESSENCE of the confli... […]
- Could Life on Mars Be Lurking Deep Underground? on December 17, 2018 at 10:00 am
WASHINGTON — To find life on Mars, scientists may need to give up surface exploration and "go deep." Typically, Mars missions searching for signs of life target the planet's surface, at sites where th... […]
- Tour Jezero Crater! Fly Over the Landing Site of NASA's Next Mars Rover (Video) on December 16, 2018 at 4:12 am
This latter gear could help pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, NASA officials have said. Mars 2020 will also cache samples for eventual return to Earth, though there is no mission c... […]
- Meet The Engineer Behind NASA’s Robotic Arm For Mars on December 14, 2018 at 10:43 am
I’ve been working on Mars for like 20 years now,” he says. His former projects on Mars includes: the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover, Phoenix Mars Lander of 2007, Mars Science Laboratory in 2011, and the ... […]
- NASA's Insight Lander on Mars Spotted from Space! on December 13, 2018 at 10:42 am
[Mars InSight in Photos: NASA's Mission to Probe Core of the ... The $850 million InSight mission — whose name is short for "Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transpo... […]
- A new InSight for Mars exploration on December 12, 2018 at 3:03 am
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/JHU-APL) InSight is something of a detour on NASA’s Mars exploration strategy, which has focused on the study of past and present water there and its implications for th... […]
- "Representation Matters:" This Scientist With Ankylosing Spondylitis Works On Mars on December 11, 2018 at 2:24 pm
Tanya spends her days exploring Mars as a science team collaborator on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) “Opportunity.” In addition to her work as a planetary scientist and the director of research for ... […]
via Bing News