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#1 2015-01-27 16:41:58

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Airplane for Venus

Was reminded of a solution from the Mars Airplane here and since I suggested the topic split from the Venus Mission thread I will start by copying those posts here before adding to the topic.


Void wrote:

Inflatable Aircraft Could Cruise Venus Skies
http://www.space.com/24847-venus-explor … craft.html

So, that's pretty good stuff I think.

SpaceNut wrote:

The particular shape sort of suggests a hard shell and not infleatable especially when in the description are props. and evelons....also it would seem to be unmanned as well. More on the VAMP  mission which is not a blimp by any means.

http://inhabitat.com/unmanned-solar-pow … tire-year/

Once airborne, the drone would switch between gliding and self-propelled flight during the day. During the nights, however, which are 70 hours long on Venus, it has to rely on a system that converts heat from the radioactive decay of plutonium-238 into electricity. Between these different systems, the aircraft is able to provide for, and carry, 440 pounds of scientific instrumentation. The drone itself weighs 992 pounds and has an impressive wingspan of 151 feet.

This really deserves it own topic and under the old board controls I could have done so to split it off....

Last edited by SpaceNut (2015-01-27 16:44:00)

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#2 2015-01-27 16:50:21

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Airplane for Venus

http://marsairplane.larc.nasa.gov/platform.html

airplane_oblique2.jpg

The shell of the plane looks like a hard shell something that I am wondering if a modified shroud could be made to do to encapsulate the plane until it reached the altitude where heat of entry into the atmosphere was no longer an issue.  Then have the shroud ejected to expose the plane for unmanned operations. To test the venus atmosphere as if it were MAVEN....

Last edited by SpaceNut (2015-01-27 16:53:48)

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#3 2015-05-18 19:52:32

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Airplane for Venus

Inflatable Venus plane may compete for next NASA New Frontiers mission

NASA-Venus-Atmospheric-Maneuverability-Platform-VAMP-image-posted-on-SpaceFlight-Insider-647x476.jpg

Artist's concept of the Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP) is shown here flying through the thick clouds surrounding Venus.

The hot and hostile surface environment of Venus poses unique challenges to scientific missions to explore the planet. In an effort to deal with these challenges, Northrop Grumman conducted a feasibility study in 2012 of an inflatable propeller-powered aircraft called the Venus Atmospheric Maneuverability Platform (VAMP). The aircraft would fly the skies above Venus at an altitude between 55 and 70 kilometers. According to Space News, Northrop Grumman plans to enter the concept in NASA’s next New Frontiers that is set to begin during the federal government’s 2016 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The winning mission will have to be ready to launch by about 2021.
On Friday, May 15, Northrop Grumman announced the formation of a science advisory board of prominent American and European planetary scientists. The board will be tasked with defining specific scientific goals, measurement requirements, and identifying possible instruments for future VAMP missions. The board will also analyze existing Venus data that may be useful in planning the VAMP mission.

“The board is a community-based, interdisciplinary science forum that the VAMP development team may interact with, ask questions of and request analyses to help resolve design and performance issues during these early stages of the mission’s development,” said Ronald Polidan, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems VAMP Project Scientist. “They will be incredibly helpful in designing the vehicle for maximum science data collection.”

VAMP would be the first application of Northrop Grumman’s family of Lifting Entry/Atmospheric Flight (LEAF) aircraft that could fly the skies of any planetary body with an atmosphere, including Venus, Earth, Mars, and Saturn’s moon Titan.

Venus-inflatable-airplane-concept-1-640x409.jpg

The VAMP aircraft would be delivered to Venus by an orbiting spacecraft which would later serve as a communications link between VAMP and Earth. VAMP would inflate outside the atmosphere and its large surface area would help manage the heat loads of atmospheric entry. Vamp will have a wingspan of nearly 150 feet (45.7 m) and a payload capacity of 100 pounds (45.4 kg). VAMP will be able to stay airborne for nearly a year as it studies Venus and its atmosphere by using a combination of powered flight and passive floating.

VAMP will certainly face stiff competition for the $1 billion in funding that NASA is offering for the next New Frontiers mission. Several finalists from the 2011 competition that may return for 2016 include the MoonRiser lunar sample return mission and a Venus lander called the Surface and Atmospheric GeoChemical Explorer. To win, Northrop Grumman will have to convince NASA that they can demonstrate a working prototype within about four years and that VAMP can carry enough scientific instruments to fulfill key science objectives set forth by the most recent decadal survey.

Northrop Grumman is partnering on the project with L. Garde Inc. of Tustin, California, who previously collaborated on a DARPA initiative to create a collapsible, rocket-deployed drone called RAPID EYE. L. Garde built two collapsible wings before the project was cancelled in 2010. The larger of the two wings was about 2 meters long. An operational VAMP prototype would have a 55 meter wingspan.

In addition to the company’s experience during the Rapid Eye project, Northrop Grumman will also draw on the development of the semi-buoyant Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) airship and its long heritage of delta-winged aircraft, from the flying wing of the late 1940s to the B-2 Spirit bomber and the X-47B unmanned aerial vehicle.

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#4 2015-08-30 06:34:25

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Airplane for Venus

Would in be able to fly beneath the clouds and take actual visible light photos of the Venusian surface?

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