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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jul 2 12:45 AM

July 2, 2008: Mars Plane

Quote:
The goal of this project is to design and build a solar powered micro airplane for autonomous exploration. This system, named Sky-Sailor, is fully autonomous in navigation and power generation. Equipped with solar cells covering its wing, it retrieves energy from the sun in order to supply power to the propulsion system and the control electronics, and charge the battery with the surplus of energy. During the night, the only energy available comes from the battery, which discharges slowly until the next morning when a new cycle starts.


Quote:
This project started in 2004 under a contract with European Space Agency to study the feasibility of a Martian Solair Airplane. The first prototype weighs 2.6 kg for a wingspan of 3.2 meters. The 216 silicone solar cells are able to deliver up to 90 W at noon during summer whereas the power consumption of the airplane is 16 W at level flight. The longest flight so far lasted 5 hours, but measurements validated the design and prove that 24h is possible. This attempt will be done this summer 2007.
link Pravda

2007? Did they do it?
Does mars have enough atmosphere for those wings to support it?
Could that delicate design stand up to being dropped onto Mars?
Did they launch it from the spaceship?
I want answers, damnit.


spudcon  Wednesday Jul 2 12:49 AM

I've seen this speculated about years ago, but NASA must have not pursued it. It probably would fly, with significantly less gravity on mars. I think wind shear would destroy it though.



Skunks  Wednesday Jul 2 02:44 AM



Marzipan?



SPUCK  Wednesday Jul 2 06:23 AM

Yes, yes, but will they charge for an extra bag?



Phage0070  Wednesday Jul 2 07:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by spudcon View Post
I've seen this speculated about years ago, but NASA must have not pursued it. It probably would fly, with significantly less gravity on mars. I think wind shear would destroy it though.
Wind shear would probably be significantly less of a problem on Mars considering the 0.6 kPa density of the atmosphere, compared to Earth's 101.3 kPa.


sweetwater  Wednesday Jul 2 08:19 AM

And aren't the ongoing dust storms on Mars significant enough to either knock it down or block the solar power? But it might work here. I'm willing to accept delivery of one [no charge, of course] and experiment with it, especially if it can be reconfigured to strafe squirrels.



glatt  Wednesday Jul 2 08:36 AM

I know it's all computers these days, but I find it amazing that they made a model in Earth's atmosphere with Earth's strong sunlight, got it to fly here, and based on the testing here, they are certain it would work in Mars's atmosphere with its dimmer sun.



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jul 2 11:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phage0070 View Post
Wind shear would probably be significantly less of a problem on Mars considering the 0.6 kPa density of the atmosphere, compared to Earth's 101.3 kPa.
They do have lots of dust devils.


dar512  Wednesday Jul 2 11:20 AM

You've seen the Mars plane. Here's the Mars with nuts.



sweetwater  Wednesday Jul 2 01:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
They do have lots of dust devils.
"They"?

You mean ?


spudcon  Wednesday Jul 2 02:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phage0070 View Post
Wind shear would probably be significantly less of a problem on Mars considering the 0.6 kPa density of the atmosphere, compared to Earth's 101.3 kPa.
But, but, they have global dust storms there... oh, never mind, I forgot about global warming


footfootfoot  Wednesday Jul 2 03:14 PM

In the movie "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control" a scientist/inventor type suggested sending hundreds of these little mini rovers to mars which would swarm all over the planet sending info back to the mother ship where it would be relayed. The cost was a fraction of what a larger module would be and the amount of data collected would be hundreds of times greater but NASA couldn't quite wrap their heads around a new paradigm like that.

Great movie, btw.



dar512  Wednesday Jul 2 03:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dar512 View Post
You've seen the Mars plane. Here's the Mars with nuts.
Oh. And another Mars with nuts.


Elspode  Wednesday Jul 2 09:19 PM

I'm less concerned about the longevity of such an aircraft. What I want to know is...how the fuck will they get it into the air? Are they going to build a lander with a big slingshot on it?



footfootfoot  Wednesday Jul 2 10:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode View Post
I'm less concerned about the longevity of such an aircraft. What I want to know is...how the fuck will they get it into the air?
That all depends on whether there is a conveyor belt running below it...


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jul 2 11:47 PM

Treadmill, it's a treadmill and it won't stop the plane from taking off... even on Mars. :p



spudcon  Thursday Jul 3 12:42 AM

Will they have airport security there too?



SPUCK  Friday Jul 4 03:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode View Post
What I want to know is...how the fuck will they get it into the air? Are they going to build a lander with a big slingshot on it?
No don't be silly. They'll just fly it there.


footfootfoot  Friday Jul 4 09:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Treadmill, it's a treadmill and it won't stop the plane from taking off... even on Mars. :p
Thanks Bruce. The nouns are the first things to go...


Your reply here?

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