Space Drones for Planetary Exploration

A special issue of Drones (ISSN 2504-446X). This special issue belongs to the section "Drone Design and Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2022) | Viewed by 11186

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
Interests: energy harvesting; nonlinear dynamics; vibration and control; smart materials; aeroelasticity; fluid-structure interactions; micro-/nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS); flight dynamics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, New Mexico Tech, Weir Hall, Room 208, Socorro, NM 87801, USA
Interests: drones (UAV/MAV/NAV/PAV): fixed wings, flapping wings, tilt-rotor/wing drones, morphing drones, space and marine drones
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Within the last century, there has been an increase in space exploration that has driven the need for new technology. Various space agencies have invested resources into exploring our solar system physically and through observation. There has been an interest in studying our neighboring planets and moons, such as Venus, Mars, and Titan. In the last decade, there has been a tendency to design and develop concepts of drones and robotic systems for planetary exploration. There have been various ways to study space objects, such as telescopes and satellites, launching robots and rovers, and sending astronauts to the targeted solar bodies. However, due to the advantages of drones compared to other approaches in planetary exploration, ample research has been carried out by different space agencies in the world, including NASA, to apply drones in other solar bodies. This Special Issue invites submissions that discuss the novel applications of drones for space and planetary exploration, including but not limited to:

  • Novel concepts of drones for planetary exploration;
  • Design challenges of drones on Mars, Venus, and Titan;
  • Conceptual design and sizing of space drones;
  • Planet entry and deployment of drones;
  • Material selection and fabrication of space drones;
  • Propulsion systems and power supply for space drones;
  • Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) systems for space drones;
  • Flight simulation, tests, and challenges of space drones.

Dr. Abdessattar Abdelkefi
Dr. Mostafa Hassanalian
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Drones is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • drones
  • planetary exploration
  • space robotics
  • design challenges
  • solar bodies

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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27 pages, 6764 KiB  
Article
Laboratory Study of Microsatellite Control Algorithms Performance for Active Space Debris Removal Using UAV Mock-Ups on a Planar Air-Bearing Test Bed
by Filipp Kozin, Mahdi Akhloumadi and Danil Ivanov
Drones 2023, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones7010007 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1747
Abstract
In this paper, a planar air-bearing test bed with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) was used to test a microsatellite motion control system. The UAV mock-ups were controlled by four ventilator actuators that imitated the satellite thrusters and provided the required acceleration vector in [...] Read more.
In this paper, a planar air-bearing test bed with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) was used to test a microsatellite motion control system. The UAV mock-ups were controlled by four ventilator actuators that imitated the satellite thrusters and provided the required acceleration vector in the horizontal plane, and torque along the vertical direction. The mock-ups moved almost without friction along the planar air-bearing test bed due to the air cushion between the test bed surface and the flat mock-up base. The motion of the mock-ups motion imitated the motion of satellites in the orbital plane. The problem of space debris can be solved using special microsatellite missions able to dock to space debris objects and change their orbit. In this paper, two control algorithms based on the virtual potentials approach and the State Dependent Ricatti Equation (SDRE) controller, were proposed for docking to a non-cooperative space debris object. The algorithms were tested in a laboratory facility, and the results are presented and analyzed, including their main features demonstrated during the laboratory study. It was shown that the SDRE-based control was faster, although the virtual potential-based control required less characteristic velocity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Drones for Planetary Exploration)
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Review

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23 pages, 1389 KiB  
Review
Survey on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Mars Exploration: Deployment Use Case
by Manjula Sharma, Akshita Gupta, Sachin Kumar Gupta, Saeed Hamood Alsamhi and Alexey V. Shvetsov
Drones 2022, 6(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6010004 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 6030
Abstract
In recent years, the area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has seen rapid growth. There has been a trend to build and produce UAVs that can carry out planetary exploration throughout the past decade. The technology of UAVs has tremendous potential to support [...] Read more.
In recent years, the area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has seen rapid growth. There has been a trend to build and produce UAVs that can carry out planetary exploration throughout the past decade. The technology of UAVs has tremendous potential to support various successful space mission solutions. In general, different techniques for observing space objects are available, such as telescopes, probes, and flying spacecraft, orbiters, landers, and rovers. However, a detailed analysis has been carried out due to the benefits of UAVs relative to other planetary exploration techniques. The deployment of UAVs to other solar bodies has been considered by numerous space agencies worldwide, including NASA. This article contributes to investigating the types of UAVs that have been considered for various planetary explorations. This study further investigates the behaviour of UAV prototypes on Mars’ surface in particular. It has been discovered that a prototype UAV flight on Mars has a higher chance of success. In this research, a prototype UAV has been successfully simulated to fly on Mars’ surface. This article discusses the opportunities, challenges, and future scope of deploying UAVs on Mars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Drones for Planetary Exploration)
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