The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.
Venus is a hellishly hot planet. It destroys the electronics of a spaceship. The longest that a spaceship has survived on Venus is only 127 minutes. The surface temperature that crosses 800 degree Fahrenheit adds up with the sulphuric acid clouds and causes damage to the circuits. This is why, the Jet Propulsion Lab engineer Jonathan Sauder and his team designed a futuristic Venus rover that doesn’t need electronics and uses mechanical systems familiar to Leonardo Da Vinci.
AREE – Automaton Rover For Extreme Environments
This rover is specially built of hardened metals and guided by a clockwork computer. According to the researchers, it would be able to collect weeks’ worth of climate and seismic data from Venus’ surface. All this would be taken in phonograph-style records that would be lifted periodically by a balloon to the overhead drone.
A relay drone would be used to take the data in phonograph style. The drone can freely fly in the temperatures that are Earth-like. This drone would relay the findings to an orbiting spacecraft. The data and samples would be taken to the drone with the help of a gal filled balloon.
The researchers are still exploring ways to send the information to Earth, but the basic structure will have a gas filled balloon to launch the seismic records above the clouds.
The computers that AREE will use, would need to track temperature, pressure, winds and seismic events. Scientists claim that the history provides many examples and gives inspirations to the modern technology, and of mechanical computers, like the Greek Antikythera mechanism, which calculated eclipse dates more than 2,000 years ago.
Like how the Mars Rover allows the researchers to have a closer look at Mars and its interiors, the AREE will also enable the scientists to have a look at the interiors of Venus and past.
The most interesting part and probably the most useful part of technology for AREE are the wind turbines. Because it is difficult for a spaceship to survive on Venus because of the heat, better is to have a technology where no electrical circuits are involved. The wind turbine would allow Venus’ winds, to spin the fan blades and generate energy. This energy would be stored in a spring.
To understand how a planet is formed, scientists need to study the interiors of a planet. To study the interiors of Venus, researchers are trying to make use of a Seismometer that will gauge the geological activity, because one prime object is to set up “Earth’s Twin” with a seismometer.
Jansen Mechanism Walking Legs
Theo Jansen, a talented kinetic sculptor, came up with a system of legs that walk naturally. Interesting, the legs are powered by the winds, which AREE needs while roving on Venus. His autonomous Strandbeests have gained much fame while roaming on Earth’s beaches. The technology that AREE uses, is inspired by this.