Mars is the next milestone in our exploration of the solar system. The presence of an atmosphere on Mars signifies that an airplane could travel in its atmosphere using the aerodynamic forces of flight. The airplane allows for a platform that can cover a larger area of exploration than is currently available. A reconnaissance airplane offers the possibility to obtain high-resolution data on a regional scale of several hundreds to thousands of kilometers, which cannot be achieved with rovers or satellites. However, conventional airplanes cannot fly in Martian atmosphere due to its environment and constraints from transport to Mars. A conceptual design was developed by Tohoku University to study the feasibility of a Mars Airplane. This paper discusses the design rationale undertaken at Tohoku University to develop a conceptual design of a 3.5 kg fixed-wing, propeller-driven, deployable airplane for the Mars exploration, following a predetermined set of requirements and constraints tailored for a small scale scientific mission to Mars. The design process includes the optimization of the geometry of the airplane for cruising performance, a total mass build-up, 3-D CAD modeling, and trade-off studies.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition - Nashville, TN, United States|
Duration: 2012 Jan 9 → 2012 Jan 12
|Conference||50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition|
|Period||12/1/9 → 12/1/12|