This Month in JBIS: March 2020

A CONCEPT STUDY OF SMALL PLANETARY ROVERS Using Tensegrity Structures On Venus by Mark Andrew Post & Junquan Li

Venus is a hostile world with rocky terrain and hot, high-pressur, corrosive atmosphere. Accordingly, a surface rover cannot use conventional methods of motion. This paper proposes the use of tensegrity structures, light-weight constructions stabilised by tension, and adaptable to rocky terrain, can also use so-called “smart materials”, and can be powered by freely available energy sources such as wind. Many types of such structures are conceivable, and some basic concepts are presented here.

ROTARY INTAKES for Scramjet-like Hypersonic Engines by Christopher MacLeod & Olivier Valentin

Continuing from a previous paper, additional results of investigation into a scramjet-style propulsion system for hypersonic flight are presented. The ASPIRE technique is intended to overcome the incomplete mixing and thus poor combustion of earlier scramjet concepts by redirecting airflow, injecting fuel, then adding more air. This paper concentrates on the intake design by means of CFD modelling, and discusses future work.

The surfaces of the Moon and Mars are hostile environments, of vacuum or near-vacuum, extremes of temperature, dust, and radiation. It may be advisable to minimise human EVAs, and to use teleoperated robots for construction of habitats on these worlds. This study considers the requirements and trade-offs between terrestrial and on-planet actions to inform a program of Lunar and Martian exploration.

ATTITUDE CONTROL FOR SATELLITES FLYING IN VLEO Using Aerodynamic Surfaces by Valentín-José Cañas Muñoz et al
The use of active and passive aerodynamic control surfaces for attitude changes to satellites in very low Earth orbit (VLEO) is analysed in this paper, VLEO being defined as an altitude of less than 450 km. Such an altitude has certain advantages for optical observations and improved signal to noise ratio, but imposes significant aerodynamic forces on a spacecraft. The use of ambient atomic oxygen for an Air-Breathing Electric Propulsion (ABEP) is also considered for drag compensation.


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