New Stingray-Shaped BREEZE Technology Might Solve Mysteries Of Venus

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Venus and the Earth have a lot of similarities, but scientists hardly have any information about the twin planet. Venus is clouded with sulfuric acid and its surface boils with the hot landscape, which makes it impossible to gather information, till now. Stingray gliders will now be used to explore the cloud-tops on Venus now.

New Stingray-Shaped BREEZE Technology Might Solve Mysteries Of Venus

 

Stingray Gliders To Explore Venus

The challenges to explore Venus are numerous. At the same time, there are many innovative concepts that could aid in understanding the planet. The University of Buffalo's Crashworthiness for Aerospace Structures and Hybrids (CRASH) Laboratory has developed a unique concept to help explore Venus. The researchers of the CRASH have developed a new concept called the Bio-inspired Ray for Extreme Environments and Zonal Explorations (BREEZE).

The concept of BREEZE is a morphing spacecraft that flaps its wings, just like a stingray that flaps its pectoral fins. The flapping helps to maintain the buoyancy life in the Venus' acidic atmosphere. BREEZE is now part of NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program, which funds such innovative ideas during their early phases.

"By taking our cues from nature, specifically sea rays, we're looking to maximize flight efficiency," says Javid Bayandor, the associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and BREEZE's lead investigator.

New Stingray-Shaped BREEZE Technology Might Solve Mysteries Of Venus

New BREEZE Through Venus

The new spacecraft with the BREEZE concept design will efficiently use the high winds on Venus. In comparison, a stingray used its large fins to swim with ease in the oceanic currents. The stingray-shaped spacecraft would circumvent Venus in a period of four-six days. The solar panels on the gliders will recharge the spacecraft and the instruments, every two-three days when the region is exposed to the Sun.

 

Another interesting fact about Venus is its slow rotation, which makes it difficult to understand its dark side. Once deployed, the BREEZE spacecraft would study the Venus' atmosphere, keep a note of the weather patterns, track volcanic activities, and collect other data. Researchers who built the BREEZE spacecraft say that it is especially well-suited to gather information on Venus' dark side.

Bayandor further explains that the BREEZE's unique design has morphing wings that use an internal tensioning system to generate thrust. This further ensures control, stability, generate an additional life and mechanical compression, creating a buoyancy control to breeze through Venus' atmosphere.

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