Article

Aerobots and Hydrobots for Planetary Exploration

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Abstract

In this new Millennium, NASA will expand its presence in space. Many new planetary bodies have been discovered, and some previously known bodies are now believed to have oceans. We now know of 66 moons in our own Solar System, one with an atmosphere, 16 with water ice or oceans, and 5 with both. In addition, we now know of 20 extra-solar planets. In order to expand our presence in space and explore in a cost effective manner, we need a repertoire of new types of planetary exploration vehicles to explore both atmospheres and oceans. To address this need a spectrum of new classes of vehicles are being developed. These include aerobots and hydrobots, and incorporate Department of Defense miniaturization developments and smart materials. This paper outlines: the remarkable miniaturization developments applicable to robotic vehicles for the exploration of planetary atmospheres and oceans; Aerobots, the vehicles designed for planetary atmospheric exploration; Hydrobots, those designed for planetary ocean exploration; planetary atmospheric data; and Europa ocean exploration missions.

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... There are some advantages and disadvantages for all of the applied methods for planetary exploration, but as discussed above, the ability for surface mobility should be maximized in order to enhance the cost effectiveness and efficiency of the planetary explorations and missions [254]. Recently, in order to explore in a cost efficient manner, new types of planetary exploration vehicles, such as aerobots and hydrobots are defined and designed to explore atmospheres, oceans, and surfaces of the targeted planets [255]. Aerobots include robotic atmospheric vehicles, such as drones, lighterthan-atmosphere vehicles, and suborbital ballistic hoppers which are applied for exploration of planetary atmospheres. ...
... Aerobots include robotic atmospheric vehicles, such as drones, lighterthan-atmosphere vehicles, and suborbital ballistic hoppers which are applied for exploration of planetary atmospheres. Hydrobots include gravity-melt lander vehicles, submersible hydrodynamic robotic vehicles, and submersible probes which are applied for planetary ocean explorations [255]. These two robotic systems can be powered by different ways, including fuel cells, batteries, radioisotope thermoelectric generators, solar photovoltaics, nuclear reactors, and chemical combustion engines [255]. ...
... Hydrobots include gravity-melt lander vehicles, submersible hydrodynamic robotic vehicles, and submersible probes which are applied for planetary ocean explorations [255]. These two robotic systems can be powered by different ways, including fuel cells, batteries, radioisotope thermoelectric generators, solar photovoltaics, nuclear reactors, and chemical combustion engines [255]. ...
... There are some advantages and disadvantages for all of the applied methods for planetary exploration, but as discussed above, the ability for surface mobility should be maximized in order to enhance the cost effectiveness and efficiency of the planetary explorations and missions [21]. Recently, in order to explore in a cost efficient manner, new types of planetary exploration vehicles, such as aerobots and hydrobots are defined and designed to explore atmospheres, oceans, and surfaces of the targeted planets [22]. Aerobots include robotic atmospheric vehicles, such as drones, lighter-than-atmosphere vehicles, and suborbital ballistic hoppers which are applied for exploration of planetary atmospheres. ...
... Aerobots include robotic atmospheric vehicles, such as drones, lighter-than-atmosphere vehicles, and suborbital ballistic hoppers which are applied for exploration of planetary atmospheres. Hydrobots include gravity-melt lander vehicles, submersible hydrodynamic robotic vehicles, and submersible probes which are applied for planetary ocean explorations [22]. These two robotic systems can be powered by different ways, including fuel cells, batteries, radioisotope thermoelectric generators, solar photovoltaics, nuclear reactors, and chemical combustion engines [22]. ...
... Hydrobots include gravity-melt lander vehicles, submersible hydrodynamic robotic vehicles, and submersible probes which are applied for planetary ocean explorations [22]. These two robotic systems can be powered by different ways, including fuel cells, batteries, radioisotope thermoelectric generators, solar photovoltaics, nuclear reactors, and chemical combustion engines [22]. ...
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