Mars Airplane Prototype Design Specifications
ContextAs part of the process for the scientific exploration of other planets, researchers will use aircraft to survey large areas of the planet. Instruments on the airplane will analyze samples from varied regions of the atmosphere and they will perform remote sensing surveys of the planet's surface. To gain a greater understanding of Mars, an airplane needs to be designed to meet the needs of such an unmanned scientific expedition.
NeedSince the atmosphere of Mars is distinctly different from that of Earth, consideration needs to be given to a fixed wing aircraft design that will fly in such an atmosphere, and be able to carry and use a scientific payload.
Design a fixed wing airplane that is capable of sustained, powered, controlled flight in the atmosphere of Mars carrying a scientific payload with a mass of at least 2 kg.
PeopleYou will work in teams of _____ in roles assigned by your teacher functioning as aeronautical researcher, aeronautical engineer, designer, fabricator and evaluator.
Tools/MachinesYou will use a computer connected to the Internet, a resource library and other aeronautical engineers and researchers in the field to research the aeronautical information, to assist in the design process and to test your model.
MaterialsYou will use the research information found on this web site and other links to assist you in your decisions prior to virtually constructing and testing your model in the section "Design Your Mars Airplane".
EnergyYou may use the energy generated by your group's collective brain power to develop this design and the "virtual engines" found on the web site to provide the thrust for your model.
Capital (Money)Your team will have enough of a research budget to complete the work as assigned.
TimeYou have ___ class sessions as assigned by your teacher to devote to research, design, virtual model construction, model evaluation, design revision and final evaluation. Be prepared to present your report to your colleagues upon project completion.
ReportingUse the format provided by your teacher. Note the best working model and drawings of successful and unsuccessful designs. Explain why some models were more successful than others.