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Massiva: Mars Surface Sampling and Imaging VTOL Aircraft.

Fielding, J. J. (2004) Massiva: Mars Surface Sampling and Imaging VTOL Aircraft. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The planet Mars has had only a small number of visitors from Earth. Of these, five have been successful in reaching the surface and returning contact science data. The body of knowledge gained from these missions is immense yet only the tiniest fraction of the whole surface has been explored. The need to expand our knowledge of the Martian environment includes among others: its weather, geology, and the search for life, all of which can expand our understanding of Earth. Most previous missions have involved large spacecraft and large budgets. To enable interplanetary missions to continue and expand, a reduction in associated cost must be achieved. Recent Earth-orbiting missions have demonstrated what can be done by utilising smaller, highly integrated craft, using technology commonly available in the commercial marketplace. Small satellites have established themselves as a valuable platform; the adoption of these techniques in planetary exploration missions is timely. Until recently, all missions placed static landers on the surface. Static landers can carry a lot of equipment to Mars, but are unable to maximise their potential due to their static nature. In order to acquire science from a wider area of the surface, some form of mobile vehicle must be implemented. The Pathfinder/Sojourner combination followed recently by the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) provided the first successful mobile platforms. When attempting very wide area coverage with a single mission, a small ground-based vehicle is impractical due to the very rocky terrain and consequent low speed of progression (and limited lifetime due to the harsh environment, and limited available power). This report considers the design of a low mass, low cost air vehicle to maximise contact sample coverage of the planet Mars. The aircraft will return information from numerous sites across a significant flight path. The wealth of data from each sampled area will be enhanced by the use of a single instrument suite; this avoids the impact on data due to differences in calibration. Key words: Mars, Aircraft, Low-Cost, Autonomous UAV, Planetary Exploration, VTOL.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Fielding, J. J.
Date : 2004
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2004.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 30 Apr 2019 08:07
Last Modified : 20 Aug 2019 15:32
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/851283

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