Title:
Flight System Options for a Long Duration Mars Airplane

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Author(s)
Rohrschneider, Reuben R.
Olds, John R.
Kuhl, Christopher A.
Braun, Robert D.
Steffes, Stephen R.
Hutchinson, Virgil L., Jr.
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Abstract
The goal of this study was to explore the flight system options for the design of a long endurance Mars airplane mission. The mission model was built in the design framework ModelCenter and a combination of a hybrid and user-driven fixed point iteration optimization method was used to determine the maximum endurance solution of each configuration. Five different propulsion systems were examined: a bipropellant rocket, a battery powered propeller, a direct methanol fuel cell powered propeller, and beamed solar and microwave powered propeller systems. Five airplane configurations were also studied. The best configuration has a straight wing with two vertical tails. The direct methanol fuel cell proved to be the best onboard power system for a long endurance airplane and the solar beamed power system showed potential for indefinite flight. The combination of the best configuration and the methanol fuel cell resulted in an airplane capable of cruising for 17.8 hours on Mars.
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Date Issued
2004-09
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873899 bytes
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