Evaluation of a heated-air airship for the environment of Titan
Author(s)Heller, Richard, S.M. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
John J. Leonard.
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Future exploration of Saturn's moon Titan can be carried out by airships, which have the capability to study the atmosphere as well as the capability to land and study the surface at multiple locations. Several lighter-than-air gas airships and passive drifting heated-air balloon designs have been studied, but a heated-air airship could combine the best of both. A design tool was created to enable iteration through different design parameters of a heated-air airship (diameter, number of layers, and insulating gas pocket thicknesses) and evaluate the feasibility of the resulting airship. A baseline heated-air airship was designed to have a diameter of 6 m (outer diameter of 6.2 m), 3 layers, and an insulating gas pocket thickness of 0.05 m between each layer. This heated-air airship also had a mass of 161.87 kg. A similar mission making use of a hydrogen-filled airship would require a diameter of 4.3 m and a mass of about 200 kg. For a desired long-term mission, the heated-air airship appears better suited. However for a desired mission under 180 days, the less complex hydrogen airship would likely be a better option.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 59-63).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology