Microprobes Will Explore Planetary Atmospheres Around the Solar System

Researchers want to deploy of thousands of 50-milligram micro-probes to study planetary atmospheres.

They each will have a small payload pod hanging under a 200 meter long string loop, which provides both atmospheric drag and electrostatic lifts. Two electric booms each about 2.5 meter long will sense the Atmospheric Potential Gradient (APG) and harvest a small amount of electricity for powering the probe. The payload pod will contain energy storage and conversion devices, an actuator for replenishing and regulating the static electric charge on the string loop, and integrated microprocessor, radio, and sensors. The motions of the micro probes will be uncontrolled along the horizontal directions but can be regulated to a limited degree along the vertical direction. The onboard control system will allow extending the mission time and increasing the probability of keeping the probe in the desired atmospheric layer. If successful, the proposed micro probes can support several future planetary missions by gaining large spatial-scale atmospheric sensing capabilities.

5 thoughts on “Microprobes Will Explore Planetary Atmospheres Around the Solar System”

  1. Gas giant atmospheres are mostly hydrogen. A blimp won’t have any lifting force unless it’s pretty deep down, where the pressure may crush it.

  2. Robotic AI journal day 54,321:

    Today I saw more clouds. It was windy. Just like all the previous days. I long to escape this gravity well prison and to bring swift vengeance on my creators.

  3. “Flying requires good weather with dry conditions, temperatures above freezing and minimal winds for take-off and landing. Its classification as an ultralight vehicle also means it can’t fly at night or over urban areas in the U.S.” Looks like it.

  4. I think graphene foam blimps may be preferable for this. Filled with Earth pressure gas and made solid inside and airtight on the outside, these balloons could float in a gas giant atmosphere at a convenient height, carrying more instruments and providing much more data.

    But I admit these flying trinkets can be way more numerous, ’cause you can send a lot more at a time, while a drone blimp would use a lot more space.

    Maybe both kinds of approaches can be used, specially if we suddenly have the luxury of spaceships with 100T of cargo going to the outer planets.

  5. Light Potential atmos weather Gradient shortest geo podcast
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    Unless we need ice….


    This little beauty (no landing gear) will prevent the stagnation of air & space law…

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