Planetary Exploration Using CubeSat Deployed Sailplanes. (arXiv:1910.03842v1 [astro-ph.IM])

Planetary Exploration Using CubeSat Deployed Sailplanes. (arXiv:1910.03842v1 [astro-ph.IM])
<a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Bouskela_A/0/1/0/all/0/1">Adrien Bouskela</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Kling_A/0/1/0/all/0/1">Alexandre Kling</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Chandra_A/0/1/0/all/0/1">Aman Chandra</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Schuler_T/0/1/0/all/0/1">Tristan Schuler</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Shkarayev_S/0/1/0/all/0/1">Sergey Shkarayev</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Thangavelautham_J/0/1/0/all/0/1">Jekan Thangavelautham</a>

Exploration of terrestrial planets such as Mars are conducted using orbiters,
landers and rovers. Cameras and instruments onboard orbiters have enabled
global mapping of Mars at low spatial resolution. Landers and rovers such as
the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) carry state-of-the-art instruments to
characterize small localized areas. This leaves a critical gap in exploration
capabilities: mapping regions in the hundreds of kilometers range. In this
paper, we extend our work on CubeSat-sized sailplanes with detailed design
studies of different aircraft configurations and payloads, identifying
generalized design principles for autonomous sailplane-based surface
reconnaissance and science applications. We further analyze potential wing
deployment technologies, including conventional inflatables with hardened
membranes, use of composite inflatables, and quick-setting foam. We perform
detailed modeling of the Martian atmosphere and possible flight patterns at
Jerezo crater using the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS) to
provide realistic atmospheric conditions at the landing site for NASA’s 2020
rover. We revisit the feasibility of the Mars Sailplane concept, comparing it
to previously proposed solutions, and identifying pathways to build laboratory
prototypes for high-altitude Earth based testing. Finally, our work will
analyze the implications of this technology for exploring other planetary
bodies with atmospheres, including Venus and Titan.

Exploration of terrestrial planets such as Mars are conducted using orbiters,
landers and rovers. Cameras and instruments onboard orbiters have enabled
global mapping of Mars at low spatial resolution. Landers and rovers such as
the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) carry state-of-the-art instruments to
characterize small localized areas. This leaves a critical gap in exploration
capabilities: mapping regions in the hundreds of kilometers range. In this
paper, we extend our work on CubeSat-sized sailplanes with detailed design
studies of different aircraft configurations and payloads, identifying
generalized design principles for autonomous sailplane-based surface
reconnaissance and science applications. We further analyze potential wing
deployment technologies, including conventional inflatables with hardened
membranes, use of composite inflatables, and quick-setting foam. We perform
detailed modeling of the Martian atmosphere and possible flight patterns at
Jerezo crater using the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS) to
provide realistic atmospheric conditions at the landing site for NASA’s 2020
rover. We revisit the feasibility of the Mars Sailplane concept, comparing it
to previously proposed solutions, and identifying pathways to build laboratory
prototypes for high-altitude Earth based testing. Finally, our work will
analyze the implications of this technology for exploring other planetary
bodies with atmospheres, including Venus and Titan.

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