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's Mars Perseverance rover's parachute contained a secret messageon February 24, 2021 at 6:02 am
Eagle-eyed space enthusiasts spotted a hidden message in binary code within the pattern of the rover's parachute.
- Column: Success of Mars missions should animate Earthon February 24, 2021 at 4:41 am
One principal goal of this latest Mars mission is to seek any indications life has existed on the planet. More generally, the work of the rover will help pave the way for a projected human mission to ...
- NASA’s Mars helicopter just hit a major milestoneon February 23, 2021 at 6:27 pm
The Perseverance rover is the star of the Mars 2020 mission, but the Mars Ingenuity helicopter is one heck of an opening act. The helicopter rode to Mars while strapped to the belly of the large ...
- NASA releases first audio from Mars, video of landing (Update)on February 23, 2021 at 2:33 pm
The US space agency NASA on Monday released the first audio from Mars, a faint crackling recording of a gust of wind captured by the Perseverance rover.
- Mars exploration will be topic of March 9 lectureon February 23, 2021 at 3:25 am
Colby native and former Mars Curiosity Rover team member Sarah Lamm will be the featured speaker for the Dr. Max Pickerill Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9, in Frahm Theatre at Colby ...
- Meet the Filipino Engineer Who Took Part in NASA’s Mars Exploration Programon February 22, 2021 at 12:23 am
Even with the number ofFilipinos slaying the international scene nowadays, it’s not every day you encounter someone being part of something as grand as the NASA Mars Exploration ...
- Mars Exploration Fast Factson February 21, 2021 at 8:28 am
Here’s some background information about Mars exploration. The United States and the Soviet Union are the only two countries to land a spacecraft on Mars. Facts There have been nine successful US Mars ...
- The next era of Mars exploration is here!on February 19, 2021 at 8:38 am
The United Arab Emirates' Hope spacecraft captured this image of Mars as it arrived in orbit. Hope is one of the 3 new missions now operating at Mars; the spacecraft will build a complete picture of ...
- Touch down! NASA’s Mars landing sparks new era of explorationon February 18, 2021 at 1:50 pm
Having stuck its nail-biting landing, the Perseverance rover will now collect rocks to return to Earth for the first time.
via Bing News