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Technology

Unmanned plane of the Russian-Indian team will go to Mars

It allows you to investigate several locations at once⁠

An unmanned aircraft will soon travel to Mars and search for signs of living organisms, take photographs and perform other tasks. It is being developed by a joint Russian-Indian team.

“Our project is called “Long-Range Aircraft for Mars Exploration”. It allows us to explore several locations at once, and this greatly increases the chances of obtaining important scientific information in terms of finding life forms," said Jahid Gueresh, associate professor at the National Research University Moscow Aviation Institute, author and leader of the project.

A rarefied atmosphere, no mechanics and no runway for the entire planet: Martian conditions are a real design challenge.

"We play with geometry, we optimise, we look at different types of aerodynamic schemes, as well as different powertrain options," said Jelena Karpovic, a project participant.

According to the developers, an electric system with batteries and solar panels looks the most preferable at the moment.

Scientists are currently working on real prototypes. One of them allows you to test the unusual wing in all its nuances. It is where the future machine will have its engines and propellers literally everywhere. Making such models is not a fad, but a necessity. Computer modelling in aviation is not enough. A lot of the data has to be obtained in practice - in a wind tunnel.

For example, the solution to the fundamental problem of ensuring the directional stability of an aircraft with a box-shaped wing was an annular propeller cowl at the rear of the drone body. The problem arose because of the short length of the vehicle, its dimensions being limited by the cargo compartment of the launch vehicle. The project has been under development since 2021. The flying model, in professional language - a technology demonstrator, is scheduled to appear at the end of 2024.

Photo:  TV BRICS

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