Accession Number : ADA331239

Title :   Optimizing Aerobot Exploration of Venus

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis

Corporate Author : NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF OPERATIONS RESEARCH

Personal Author(s) : Ford, Kevin S.

PDF Url : ADA331239

Report Date : MAR 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 88

Abstract : Venus Flyer Robot (VFR) is an aerobot; an autonomous balloon probe designed for remote exploration of Earth's sister planet in 2003. VFR's simple navigation and control system permits travel to virtually any location on Venus, but it can survive for only a limited duration in the harsh Venusian environment. To help address this limitation, we develop: (1) a global circulation model that captures the most important characteristics of the Venusian atmosphere; (2) a simple aerobot model that captures thermal restrictions faced by VFR at Venus; and (3) one exact and two heuristic algorithms that, using abstractions (1) and (2), construct routes making the best use of VFR's limited lifetime. We demonstrate this modeling by planning several small example missions and a prototypical mission that explores numerous interesting sites recently documented in the planetary geology literature.

Descriptors :   *SPACE EXPLORATION, *VENUS(PLANET), *VENUS PROBES, ALGORITHMS, ROBOTS, THESES, SELF OPERATION, SPACE MISSIONS, ATMOSPHERE MODELS, SPACE NAVIGATION, UNMANNED SPACECRAFT, ASTROGEOLOGY, STELLAR ATMOSPHERES.

Subject Categories : Astronomy
      Astronautics
      Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE