Russian scientists create a drone for Mars

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Researchers believe that the aircraft has certain advantages over the NASA Ingenuity helicopter

Russian scientists and the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), together with colleagues from India, are working on a project of an unmanned aircraft for exploring Mars.

Russian scientists create an airplane- drone for Mars

«The idea of ​​creating the device was proposed by the associate professor of the department 101 “Design and certification of aviation equipment” MAI Jahid Gueresh. It appeared after the first flight of the American helicopter Ingenuity on Mars opened a whole new era in the exploration of other planets. In the summer of 2021, we applied for a grant from the Russian Science Foundation together with specialists in computational fluid dynamics from Kharagpur University of Technology. Our competitors were more than 300 teams from Russia and India. 25 projects were approved, and we were among the lucky ones», — said the co-author of the project, senior lecturer at Institute No. 1 “Aviation Technology” MAI Elena Karpovich.

It is assumed that the Martian drone will receive an electric propeller. The aircraft will be able to make 8-hour flights up to 1400 km, it will also be able to take on board about 1 kg of payload, and the cruising speed will be about 150 km/h.

Scientists believe that the advantage of an aircraft over a helicopter lies precisely in the presence of a wing: this allows the drone to be equipped with a more compact power plant, which increases the payload and increases autonomy.

However, scientists are working not only on the drone itself &mdash ; they are also considering a scheme for its delivery to Mars.

«At the moment I can give indicative data. The rocket flies up to the orbit of Mars, the capsule is released from the head fairing at an altitude of about 500 km above the surface and begins its descent. At an altitude of 120 km, the speed of the capsule is 21,000 km/h! The capsule descends to an altitude of about 11 km, where the system that releases the braking parachutes is activated. They reduce the speed of the capsule to 60 m/s, and our apparatus slips out of it in a certain position“, — said Elena Karpovich.

The testers plan to test a demonstrator of a Martian drone in the Earth's stratosphere at the end of 2024.

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