Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

NASA's Dragonfly Preparing to Fly Through Titan's Atmosphere

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
An illustration showing NASAs Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander approaching a site on Saturns moon Titan.

Researchers have been conducting test campaigns at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, to assess the vehicle's aerodynamic performance in harsh, near-Titan conditions.

Credit: JHU-APL via NASA

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said it conducted new tests to prepare its Dragonfly rotorcraft lander to explore Saturn's moon Titan.

The nearly three-year mission, scheduled to launch in June 2027, will investigate the moon's organic compounds and check for past or existing life.

NASA collaborated with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) to ensure Dragonfly will operate in Titan's atmosphere via tests at the Langley Research Center.

The APL's Bernadine Juliano said, "We tested conditions across the expected flight envelope at a variety of wind speeds, rotor speeds, and flight angles to assess the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle."

Juliano added that the craft completed over 700 runs covering more than 4,000 data points, achieving all test goals to strengthen the confidence of Earth-based simulations before interpolating to Titan's environment.

From ABC News
View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account