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
NASA to Discuss Demonstration of New Space Exploration Power System
on April 18, 2018 at 12:16 pm
Kilopower could provide safe, efficient and plentiful energy for future robotic and human space exploration missions to the Moon, Mars and destinations beyond. The experiment was conducted November 2017 through March 2018 at the Nevada National Security ... […]
New study suggests violent origin for Mars’ moons
on April 18, 2018 at 11:21 am
These scientists say their work is particularly significant for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Mars Moons eXploration (MMX) mission, which is planned to launch in 2024. The MMX spacecraft will visit the two Martian moons, land on the surface ... […]
Giant Impact May Have Created Mars' Moons
on April 18, 2018 at 11:00 am
so their bulk compositions should be similar to that of Mars for most elements," Canup said. In 2024, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to launch the Mars Moons eXploration (MMX) mission to visit the two Martian moons. MMX will land on ... […]
Plans to Map Mars with ‘Marsbees’ Unveiled by NASA
on April 18, 2018 at 8:00 am
These robot bumblebees, dubbed “Marsbees” by NASA, would be able to analyze and collect data whilst travelling over wide swathes of land, significantly enhancing the Mars exploration mission. The Marsbees will be developed as part of a joint project ... […]
NASA begins building next Mars Rover for 2020 launch
on April 17, 2018 at 10:32 pm
NASA expects to be working on the rover itself by this fall, Gruel said. The 2020 mission will build on previous knowledge from NASA's Curiosity rover and other Mars Exploration Program missions. If all goes according to plan, the Mars 2020 rover will ... […]
Why the first Mars mission team should be all women
on April 17, 2018 at 9:32 am
This mock Mars mission gives NASA data on real people in the circumstances ... and especially when it comes to space exploration. […]
Relive These Scientists' Year Inside a Simulated Mars on a Hawaiian Volcano With This New Podcast
on April 17, 2018 at 8:10 am
Except the habitat is on Earth—it’s the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS ... i built the habitat in order to simulate what a long-term mission to Mars might be like. A new podcast from Gimlet called The Habitat will cover ... […]
SpaceX Will Make Massive, Mars-Bound ‘BFR’ Rocket at L.A. Port
on April 16, 2018 at 3:10 pm
Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. will build its giant in ... larger vehicle designed to carry humans on quick hops across the world and eventually to Mars. The company has said it would need to build the BFR near water given its size ... […]
NASA's Exploration Campaign: Back to the Moon and on to Mars
on April 16, 2018 at 11:09 am
“The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery. It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use. This time ... […]
via Bing News