SensorLine: A Distributed Sensor System for Planetary Exploration
The SensorLine is a small, simple, low-cost system for deploying arrays of tethered microsensors for planetary, asteroid, and subsurface exploration. The SensorLine system integrates the microsensors into a thin, lightweight tether that provides both power and communication. In planetary exploration applications, the SensorLine?s novel deployment method permits these sensors to be distributed over long distances on a planetary surface, enabling planetary landers to obtain in situ thermal, chemical, seismic, and other measurements over a much wider area at a significantly lower cost, complexity, and technical risk than robotic rovers. In exploration of the lunar poles, the SensorLine could enable a probe placed on a sunlit hill to obtain in situ measurements of soil composition in a permanently shaded crater. In subsurface exploration applications such as the proposed Cryoscout experiment, the SensorLine system can provide power, communications, and distributed sensing capabilities for burrowing probes.
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