Titan Bumblebee: A 1kg Lander-Launched UAV Concept
Lorenz, Ralph D.
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A concept for a small (~1kg) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launched from a lander on Saturn's moon Titan is discussed. This battery-powered vehicle could survey an area of hundreds of square kilometers around the lander over a few hours, providing stereo imagery, boundary-layer meteorological profiles and other data. The cold, thick atmosphere on low-gravity Titan makes a fixed- or moving-wing vehicle easy to fly, but requires substantial energy to keep it warm, a situation similar to terrestrial bumblebees and a similar flight configuration may therefore be appropriate.