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Title: Conceptual Design of a Mobile Platform for Venus Atmospheric Study
Authors: Davis, John
Advisors: Martinelli, Luigi
Contributors: Stengel, Robert
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: Motivated by the scientific need for mobile and long-term exploration of Venus to better understand the origins of our Solar System and terrestrial processes such as the greenhouse effect, the feasibility of endurance powered flight on Venus is studied. A mission with a set of requirements is proposed to meet the scientific objectives at minimal cost, prompting the need to develop a mobile, long lasting, in situ Venus atmospheric explorer. To simulate the environment of the planet, the atmosphere and solar energy on Venus is modeled in MATLAB using data from previous missions. A solar powered airship concept was analyzed, but only found to be able to fly at low altitudes of Venus, where the high temperatures and pressures would require a high cost mission and technological advancements. Next, a conceptual design of a blended wing body high altitude solar powered airplane, which would package inside the Pioneer Venus large probe aeroshell, is discussed and analyzed. With a mass of 46 kg and a wingspan of 3.65 m, the design was found to meet the mission requirements and achieve endurance flight in a large range of locations on the planet. Because of the feasibility of the concept and the potential scientific benefit it offers, steps for future work and design are proposed.
Extent: 128 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2016

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