Exploration of Mars has been made possible using a series of landers, roversand orbiters. The HiRise camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) hascaptured high-resolution images covering large tracts of the surface. However,orbital images lack the depth and rich detail obtained from in-situexploration. Rovers such as Mars Science Laboratory and upcoming Mars 2020carry state-of-the-art science laboratories to perform in-situ exploration andanalysis. However, they can only cover a small area of Mars through the courseof their mission. A critical capability gap exists in our ability to image,provide services and explore large tracts of the surface of Mars required forenabling a future human mission. A promising solution is to develop areconnaissance sailplane that travels tens to hundreds of kilometers per sol.The aircraft would be equipped with imagers that provide that in-situ depth offield, with coverage comparable to orbital assets such as MRO. A majorchallenge is that the Martian carbon dioxide atmosphere is thin, with apres-sure of 1% of Earth at sea level. To compensate, the aircraft needs to flyat high-velocities and have sufficiently large wing area to generate therequired lift. Inflatable wings are an excellent choice as they have the lowestmass and can be used to change shape (morph) depending on aerodynamic orcon-trol requirements. In this paper, we present our design of an inflatablesail-plane capable of deploying from a 12U CubeSat platform. A pneumaticde-ployment mechanism ensures highly compact stowage volumes and minimizescomplexity.
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