You are here

A Novel Aerial Drone Platform for Exploration of Titan

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0176
Agency Tracking Number: 192923
Amount: $739,274.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S3
Solicitation Number: SBIR_19_P2
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-06-08
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-06-07
Small Business Information
16 Great Hollow Road
Hanover, NH 03755-3116
United States
DUNS: 072021041
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Benjamin Cameron
 (603) 643-3800
Business Contact
 Jennifer Hammond
Phone: (603) 640-2317
Research Institution

Long-term monitoring of Titanrsquo;s atmosphere and planetary surface requires a robust autonomous vehicle capable of interacting with Titanrsquo;s surface and profiling its chemically dynamic atmosphere. Creare proposes the Titan Ringlet, a drone capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) that can transition to horizontal flight to extend the range beyond that of a multirotor vehicle. VTOL capabilities simplify the interaction of the vehicle with the surface and enable true vertical profiling of the atmosphere, while the ability to transition to horizontal flight increases the spatial range of possible observations. Crearersquo;s Titan Ringlet drone utilizes a novel nonplanar wing geometry and mechanically simple controls without the need or complexity of traditional fixed-wing control surfaces. The drone packs efficiently into an aeroshell for safe entry into the Titan atmosphere and then separates from the aeroshell for a precision vertical landing on the surface. Compared to a pure rotorcraft, the fixed-wing cruise flight of Crearersquo;s drone increases range by three times, increases endurance by two times, and increases altitude by four times. A small variant of the Titan Ringlet can support a larger mobile lander, e.g., the Dragonfly spacecraft, and increase the flight range of the lander threefold by pre-scouting landing sites.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government