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Waspie_Dwarf

A Clockwork Rover for Venus

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Waspie_Dwarf

A Clockwork Rover for Venus

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A good watch can take a beating and keep on ticking. With the right parts, can a rover do the same on a planet like Venus?

A concept inspired by clockwork computers and World War I tanks could one day help us find out. The design is being explored at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments (AREE) is funded for study by the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program. The program offers small grants to develop early stage technology, allowing engineers to work out their ideas.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA/JPL

 

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fred_mc

Exciting, I would really want to see more pictures from the surface of Venus, the few we have from a Soviet spacecraft that only survived for a few hours is not much.

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Opus Magnus

Could you, take up the parts of a tank separately on different missions to the ISS, and then build the tank at the ISS, and then send it to Venus from there?

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OverSword

And here is the team of scientists on the project

4033442691_281ab1b1fc_o.jpg

 

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Aten

I can't believe Nasa would waste much money on this, its totally silly, the more moving mechanical bits the more likely to go wrong, powered by wind? really? this must be a joke. sigh.

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BeastieRunner
On 8/26/2017 at 11:21 AM, Opus Magnus said:

Could you, take up the parts of a tank separately on different missions to the ISS, and then build the tank at the ISS, and then send it to Venus from there?

If you want to knock the ISS out of orbit, sure.

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Merc14
17 minutes ago, Aten said:

I can't believe Nasa would waste much money on this, its totally silly, the more moving mechanical bits the more likely to go wrong, powered by wind? really? this must be a joke. sigh.

I really think you should read the article before posting your cut and paste complaints

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Parsec

That is really super cool and quite an outside of the box thinking! 

 

On 26/8/2017 at 2:52 PM, fred_mc said:

Exciting, I would really want to see more pictures from the surface of Venus, the few we have from a Soviet spacecraft that only survived for a few hours is not much.

Unfortunately, as far as I understand, there will be no cameras, thus no pictures. 

I also wonder, if they'd ever find a way to use a camera, how much data loss and corruption (read a lot of artifacts in the pics) there would be, considering that they should convert pixels in morse code and then revert them back. 

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bison

A durable rover on the surface of Venus; an intriguing problem. Some interesting concepts mentioned in the article. A good radar reflector, long used by mariners, is three flat metal plates, each at right angles to the other two, and with a common center. These can be collapsed flat, and unfolded for use, if properly slotted.

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seanjo

My computer's steam driven!

This is fascinating stuff.

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highdesert50

The application of silicon carbide technology is compelling and I would assume the relative newness and crudeness of that technology is limiting the transmissions to simple code (CW). A CW transmitter might only require several transistors depending upon power level. As the technology ramps up, I could then imagine the opportunity for video using more complex digital modes that require less power yet provide greater bandwidth.

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bison

The maximum operating temperature I've seen mentioned for silicon carbide semiconductors is around 300 degrees Celsius. Has the heat tolerance been improved beyond that figure?  Venus' average temperature is about 460 degrees Celsius.

I'd be concerned, too, about the heat vulnerability of supporting components, like capacitors. There's been work to harden Si C transistor driver circuits to ~ 200 degrees Celsius, but that's still well short of the requirements for a long term Venus Rover. 

Edited by bison
corrected spelling

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bmk1245
6 hours ago, bison said:

The maximum operating temperature I've seen mentioned for silicon carbide semiconductors is around 300 degrees Celsius. Has the heat tolerance been improved beyond that figure?  Venus' average temperature is about 460 degrees Celsius.

I'd be concerned, too, about the heat vulnerability of supporting components, like capacitors. There's been work to harden Si C transistor driver circuits to ~ 200 degrees Celsius, but that's still well short of the requirements for a long term Venus Rover. 

Well,

Quote

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have pushed heat-resistant integrated logic circuits to a record 550 °C, a notch hotter than in NASA’s tests of integrated circuits.

Read more

And I remember reading about SiC transistors working at temperatures over 600 °C.

 

Paper focusing on the issue (SiC in Venus surface atmospheric conditions).

Edited by bmk1245

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bison

Thanks, bmk, those links were very informative!

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paperdyer

Lack of pictures will be quite unfortunate.  Is the cloud cover too dense for a satellite to get pictures from space with some type of camera?  I guess IR is out due to the temperature, but aren't there  UV cameras of somesort now?

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bison

They've tried looking at Venus in the ultraviolet. It reveals some atmospheric stripes and partially defined cloudy areas, not otherwise seen.  The atmospheric absorption of ultraviolet light still prevents views of the planet's surface.

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Calibeliever
On 8/30/2017 at 11:47 AM, paperdyer said:

Lack of pictures will be quite unfortunate.  Is the cloud cover too dense for a satellite to get pictures from space with some type of camera?  I guess IR is out due to the temperature, but aren't there  UV cameras of somesort now?

They have had a lot of success imaging the surface with radar and limited success (on the dark side) imaging in Infrared. UV has been used to study the composition of the upper atmosphere but, as you suspected, the cloud cover is too thick for it to penetrate very far.

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