APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

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APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:08 am

Image Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly Across Titan

Explanation: If you could fly across Titan, what would you see? To find out and to better explore this exotic moon of Saturn, NASA recently green-lighted Dragonfly, a mission to Titan with plans to deploy a helicopter-like drone. Saturn's moon Titan is one of the largest moons in the Solar System and the only moon known to have a thick atmosphere and changing hydrocarbon lakes. After development, building, testing, and launch, Dragonfly is currently scheduled to reach Titan in 2034. The featured animated video envisions Dragonfly arriving at Titan, beginning its airborne exploration, landing to establishing a radio link back to Earth, and then continuing on to another trans-Titanian flight. It is hoped that Dragonfly will not only help humanity better understanding Titan's weather, chemistry, and changing landscape, but also bolster humanity's understanding of how life first developed on our young Earth.

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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:47 am

Cool... hope it goes well...I will be 81...if I am that lucky...

My recent shot of Saturn... I wonder if Titan is in the picture...it got a little over exposed in processing...but it brought out some features, and the rings look good.

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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:58 am

Wow! That is a long way into the future!
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by neufer » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:59 am

https://www.livescience.com/33075-how-bees-fly.html wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
<<Short and stubby, the bumblebee doesn't look very flight-worthy. Indeed, in the 1930s, French entomologist August Magnan even noted that the insect's flight is actually impossible, a notion that has stuck in popular consciousness since then.

Now, you don't need to be a scientist to raise an eyebrow at this assertion, but it sure is easier to explain the bumblebee's physics-defying aerodynamics if you're Michael Dickinson, a professor of biology and insect flight expert at the University of Washington. "The whole question of how these little wings generate enough force to keep the insect in the air is resolved," Dickinson told Life's Little Mysteries. "There are details remaining, but it's just not an enigma anymore." Dickinson published a 2005 study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the flight of the bumblebee after gathering data using high-speed photography of actual flying bees and force sensors on a larger-than-life robotic bee wing flapping around in mineral oil. He says the big misconception about insect flight and perhaps what tripped up Magnan is the belief that bumblebees flap their wings up and down. "Actually, with rare exceptions, they flap their wings back and forth," Magnan said.

In 2001, a Chinese research team led by Lijang Zeng of Tsinghua University glued small pieces of glass to bees and then tracked reflected light as they flew around in a laser array. But now, Dickinson says, researchers are more interested in the finer points of how insects control themselves once they're in the air. Those studies will be especially important for a fleet of robotic insects in development, including robobees created by a team at Harvard University.>>
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by De58te » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:21 am

orin stepanek wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:58 am
Wow! That is a long way into the future!
Yup. 15 years! Just think that is 50% longer time than when John F Kennedy wanted to put a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. (Actually more since I think they had only 8 years to fulfill that quest) Think of the things we can accomplish in the meantime.

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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by neufer » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:47 pm

De58te wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:21 am
orin stepanek wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:58 am

Wow! That is a long way into the future!
Yup. 15 years! Just think that is 50% longer time than when John F Kennedy wanted to put a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. (Actually more since I think they had only 8 years to fulfill that quest) Think of the things we can accomplish in the meantime.
Apples & oranges!

It takes a whole decade just to fly to Saturn.
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:40 pm

De58te wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:21 am
orin stepanek wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:58 am
Wow! That is a long way into the future!
Yup. 15 years! Just think that is 50% longer time than when John F Kennedy wanted to put a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. (Actually more since I think they had only 8 years to fulfill that quest) Think of the things we can accomplish in the meantime.
I was complaining because I'd be mid 90's! Time gets precious! :roll: :b:
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:47 pm

neufer wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:47 pm
De58te wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:21 am
orin stepanek wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:58 am

Wow! That is a long way into the future!
Yup. 15 years! Just think that is 50% longer time than when John F Kennedy wanted to put a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. (Actually more since I think they had only 8 years to fulfill that quest) Think of the things we can accomplish in the meantime.
Apples & oranges!

It takes a whole decade just to fly to Saturn.
:rocketship: Is it called flying when you're traveling by Spaceship! :owl: :rocketship:
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:53 pm

neufer wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:59 am
https://www.livescience.com/33075-how-bees-fly.html wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
<<Short and stubby, the bumblebee doesn't look very flight-worthy. Indeed, in the 1930s, French entomologist August Magnan even noted that the insect's flight is actually impossible, a notion that has stuck in popular consciousness since then.

Now, you don't need to be a scientist to raise an eyebrow at this assertion, but it sure is easier to explain the bumblebee's physics-defying aerodynamics if you're Michael Dickinson, a professor of biology and insect flight expert at the University of Washington. "The whole question of how these little wings generate enough force to keep the insect in the air is resolved," Dickinson told Life's Little Mysteries. "There are details remaining, but it's just not an enigma anymore." Dickinson published a 2005 study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the flight of the bumblebee after gathering data using high-speed photography of actual flying bees and force sensors on a larger-than-life robotic bee wing flapping around in mineral oil. He says the big misconception about insect flight and perhaps what tripped up Magnan is the belief that bumblebees flap their wings up and down. "Actually, with rare exceptions, they flap their wings back and forth," Magnan said.

In 2001, a Chinese research team led by Lijang Zeng of Tsinghua University glued small pieces of glass to bees and then tracked reflected light as they flew around in a laser array. But now, Dickinson says, researchers are more interested in the finer points of how insects control themselves once they're in the air. Those studies will be especially important for a fleet of robotic insects in development, including robobees created by a team at Harvard University.>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M93qXQWaBdE
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:12 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:58 am
Wow! That is a long way into the future!
Yup. I wonder if there will be any civilization operating at a high enough level to be able to receive the information if tries to send back...
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by zendae1 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:39 pm

That seems a bit long for this day and age. Not so long ago I was reading Kurzweil's ideas of the Singularity occurring around that time. Hopefully Moore's Law will curtail the wait time so I can selfishly witness it!

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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:49 pm

zendae1 wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:39 pm
That seems a bit long for this day and age. Not so long ago I was reading Kurzweil's ideas of the Singularity occurring around that time. Hopefully Moore's Law will curtail the wait time so I can selfishly witness it!
It's a combination of policy, engineering, and physics. The launch is planned for seven years from now. That's a pretty typical delay (or even on the short side) for an expensive, complex space probe. Then it takes eight years to get to Saturn- timing defined mainly by physics: where Saturn is in its orbit with respect to Earth, and what other planets might be available to modify the flight path. It's not a short trip to Saturn if you intend to remain there, and not simply fly past.
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by neufer » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:54 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.



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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by bystander » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:16 pm

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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by Astronymus » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:04 pm

What kind of energy source will be used?
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by neufer » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:09 pm

Astronymus wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:04 pm

What kind of energy source will be used?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonfly_(spacecraft)#Design_and_construction wrote:
<<Titan's dense atmosphere and low gravity means that the flight power for a given mass is a factor of about 40 times lower than on Earth. The atmosphere is about four times as thick as Earth's, and local gravity (13.8% of Earth's) will make it easier to fly, although cold temperatures and lower light must be contended with. The rotorcraft could travel significant distances, powered by a battery that will be recharged by a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) during the night. MMRTGs convert the heat from the natural decay of a radioisotope into electricity, although increased mass and surface area might sacrifice control. The rotorcraft will be able to travel tens of kilometers on every battery charge and stay aloft for a few hours each time. The vehicle will use sensors to scout new science targets, returning to the original site until new landing locations are verified as safe by mission controllers.>>
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:48 am

neufer wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:54 pm
Click to play embedded YouTube video.



+1; :clap: :thumb_up: Nice! :D
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:03 am

Orin

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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by LJF » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:49 pm

Fifteen years? Unbelievable.

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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:07 pm

LJF wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:49 pm
Fifteen years? Unbelievable.
Why? As I noted above, this requires developing a lot of new technology, and it's very difficult (and somewhat dependent upon the luck of timing) to get a spacecraft into orbit around Saturn.
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by TheZuke! » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:47 pm

It will be difficult to operate in that environment (understatement)
For instance, landing to recharge, I hope it won't melt through the methane (or whatever) ice on the surface and then get frozen into place.
Maybe a Zeppelin type robot could be used, a gas bag to keep it aloft while the RTG recharges the battery.

The propellers, what material won't shatter at those temperatures?
At least at those temperatures the motors could have super conductor windings. (higher efficiency, more power with less consumption)
Winds? Rain? Hail? Twisters/(water)spouts, geysers, volcanoes?

Maybe the mother ship should have multiple drones to deploy for mission redundancy. (as long as the students working at JPL don't try to dogfight them). (insert smiley here)

I bought a quad-copter (toy) last weekend, and it appears to be the first (of several) that I have purchased that is stable and slow enough for me to actually learn the controls before crashing. (I had no luck with Microsoft Flight Simulator either, augering in shortly after take-off.) So, I'm pretty sure flight stability will be quite automated before it is launched.

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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by neufer » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:52 pm

TheZuke! wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:47 pm

It will be difficult to operate in that environment (understatement)
Winds? Rain? Hail? Twisters/(water)spouts, geysers, volcanoes?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Titan wrote: <<The findings of the Huygens probe indicate that Titan's atmosphere periodically rains liquid methane and other organic compounds onto the moon's surface. In October 2007, observers noted an increase in apparent opacity in the clouds above the equatorial Xanadu region, suggestive of "methane drizzle", though this was not direct evidence for rain. However, subsequent images of lakes in Titan's southern hemisphere taken over one year show that they are enlarged and filled by seasonal hydrocarbon rainfall. The presence of rain indicates that Titan may be the only Solar System body besides Earth upon which rainbows could form. However, given the extreme opacity of the atmosphere to visible light, the vast majority of any rainbows would be visible only in the infrared.

The number of methane lakes visible near Titan's south pole is decidedly smaller than the number observed near the north pole. As the south pole is currently in summer and the north pole in winter, an emerging hypothesis is that methane rains onto the poles in winter and evaporates in summer. According to a paper by Tetsuya Tokano of the University of Cologne, cyclones driven by this evaporation and involving rain as well as gale-force winds of up 20 m/s are expected to form over the large northern seas (Kraken Mare, Ligeia Mare, Punga Mare) only in the northern summer, lasting up to ten days. To date no waves have been observed on any of Titan's lakes; however, calculations suggest that, as the northern hemisphere, where most of the lakes reside, enters the long Titanean summer, wind speeds might increase to 3 km/h, levels sufficient to produce waves.

Recent computer simulations indicate that the huge dunes of soot like material raining down from the atmosphere in the equatorial regions may instead be shaped by rare storm winds that happen only every fifteen years when Titan is in equinox. The storms produce strong downdrafts, flowing eastward at up to 10 meters per second when they reach the surface. In late 2010, the equivalent of early Spring in Titan's northern hemisphere, a series of methane storms were observed in Titan's equatorial desert regions.>>
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Re: APOD: Robotic Dragonfly Selected to Fly... (2019 Jul 03)

Post by Astronymus » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:38 am

TheZuke! wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:47 pm
It will be difficult to operate in that environment (understatement)
For instance, landing to recharge, I hope it won't melt through the methane (or whatever) ice on the surface and then get frozen into place.
Maybe a Zeppelin type robot could be used, a gas bag to keep it aloft while the RTG recharges the battery.
That would cost energy if the probe would have to hold it's coordinates.
For a zeppelin type probe one would need a continuous energy source, a gas reservoir (weight!) and not too strong winds.
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