Well, not quite a Sikorsky, but drones are beautiful, too, eh! WooHoo!
NASA Mars Helicopter Technology Demonstration
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Published on May 11, 2018
The Mars Helicopter is a technology demonstration that will travel to the Red Planet with the Mars 2020 rover. It will attempt controlled flight in Mars’ thin atmosphere, which may enable more ambitious missions in the future. For more information, visit https://go.nasa.gov/2IC8tIh
I was referred to this short piece from a thread called NASA will send a Helicopter to Mars in 2020 by our gortex [Knight of Ni Member Registered: 8/16/2009 Location: Valles Marineris Mood: Variable] and since this is right up my alley as Mars might convince me to stay alive, I got excited and …from there, I found these.
Crazy Engineering: Mars Helicopter
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Published on Jan 22, 2015
JPL engineers are working on a small helicopter that could ‘scout’ a trail for future Mars rovers, but getting a chopper that could fly in the Martian atmosphere is tricky. Episode 2 of Crazy Engineering.
Crazy good stuff
Here’s what a NASA drone for Mars could look like
Published on Jan 26, 2015
Hoping to expand the range of what Mars rovers can investigate, NASA is considering equipping the intrepid explorers with helicopters. Mars rovers have done a lot of great work for NASA, but their investigative range is restricted to what can be seen via their onboard cameras. Hoping to expand the options for what the intrepid explorers can look into, the space agency is considering equipping them with helicopters. The goal isn’t to make the rovers themselves fly, but to provide them with a scout that can travel quickly and send back information. Researchers on the ground could go through the data collected, determine which areas of the Red Planet look most intriguing, and send the rover along the proper path. The detachable helicopter could also be useful in aiding the search for particular areas that offer promising opportunities for in-depth analysis and sample collection. The plan is to create a flying rover assistant that weighs about 2 pounds and has a propeller span of just over 3-and-a-half feet. A proof-of-concept prototype, which according to NASA looks kind of like a tissue box, is currently being tested at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The next rover mission to Mars is scheduled to depart in 2020.
NASA’s Mars Drone Scout – Behold The Future
Published on Apr 7, 2017
Behold The Future…NASA’s new Mars drone to scout for human habitation sites. The way humans explore Mars could be about to take a giant leap forward with the invention of special flying drones to explore harder to reach parts of the red planet. NASA says the devices could help identify sites for human habitation.
Engineers from NASA’s Langley Research Center are developing a drone that can fly in the thin Martian atmosphere. The autonomous aircraft will team up with ground-based rovers to give researchers far greater flexibility in exploring currently inaccessible features, such as lava tubes and deep canyons.
As well as exploring hard to reach places, Langley engineers say the drones will scout the surface of Mars looking for suitable areas to build human habitats. The “Mars Electric Flyer” project focuses on lightweight structures powered by electric motors. These machines will have vertical takeoff and landing flight control, as well as autonomous navigation.
The electric-powered drones will be equipped with cutting edge motor and battery technologies so they can carry out long-range missions without human intervention. The machines will also be equipped with advanced mapping and remote sensor systems.
The plan is to send the aircraft to Mars on board one of NASA’s rovers. A concept video released by Langley shows the rover using a robotic arm to release the drone on the surface of the planet. The drone then takes off to explore caves and canyons before returning to the rover for post-mission recharging.
The autonomous aircraft, still in the prototype stage, is designed for the thin atmospheric conditions on Mars and is currently undergoing low-pressure chamber flight tests at Langley.
NASA Langley Engineers Propose Mars Flyer Concept
Imagine being able to survey more parts of another planet like Mars than ever before. Orbiters and rovers have been successful so far but engineers keep looking for new ways to gather information. One way may be by using an unmanned aerial vehicle like this Mars Flyer concept. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xjHC…
This looks rather sporty and fleet…
Should have enough air, right?
Give my regards to the Admiral, Langley.
Mars Helicopter Scout
Published on Nov 12, 2015
MiMi Aung, the Autonomous Systems Deputy Division Manager at JPL, presented the Mars Helicopter Scout at the Keck Institute for Space Studies lecture on April 1, 2015. The Mars Helicopter Scout is a current proposal to demonstrate helicopter flight at Mars on the Mars 2020 mission.The Mars Helicopter Scout will scout ahead of a planetary surface rover to provide high-resolution aerial images of the terrain for science and operational purposes. This talk described the scope of the Mars Helicopter Scout proposal, the signficant science and operational benefits of a helicopter in planetary surface exploration, and the technical design overview of Mars Helicopter Scout. The talk concluded with examples of feedforward applications of a planetary helicopter to future missions, with an invitation for lecture attendees to join in further envisioning the much bigger, broader future applications offered by this addition of an aerial dimension to the state-of-practice surface rovers and orbiters in planetary exploration today.
And there you have it.
Exciting stuff and exciting times ahead.
You may have heard the news… plans are to get one up there in 2020… just two tiny yarn!