This project is a joint venture between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and the University of California, Los Angeles to demonstrate a sensing package that will enable highly significant scientific, commercial, and defense programs to be underatken much more cost-effectively. In particular this effort can provide critical hardware to support surveillance and security efforts.
The PAUSE aerobot is comprised of a zero-pressure balloon and a protoype Mars aerobot science gondola. The gondola is comprised of a magnetometer, IMU, multiple temperature sensors, a pressure sensor, three imagers, a GPS receiver, 1GB data storage device, and a radio modem. The gondola is lightweight (3.3 kg) and consumes little power (~3 watts). This aerobot recently deployed in the Earth's Stratosphere (35km) to simulate the Martian Environment.
Aerobots can be used to fill the gap between an orbiter (which can cover a lot of area but has limited resolution) and a rover (which has high resolution but covers a limited area). Airborne Robots (aerobots) are unmanned scientific exploration vehicles designed to float for up to several months in the atmospheres of planets and moons.
This effort is funded by the California Space Authority, and led by Carol Raymond.
Alberto Behar - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- A. Behar, J. Matthews, C. Raymond, E. Means, "The JPL PAUSE Aerobot," IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 2005, October 2005, Volume 4, 10-12 Oct. 2005 Page(s):3939 - 3943.