A Mars 1 Watt Vortex Wind Energy Machine

by Michael Ralston, Design Inc, Lake Mills, United States,
Christopher Crowley, Design Inc, Lake Mills, United States,
Ronald Thomson, Design Inc, Lake Mills, United States,
Owen Gwynne, Design Inc, Lake Mills, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


Ever since Viking I and II landed on the surface of Mars in the summer of 1976, man has yearned to go back. But before man sets foot upon the surface of Mars, unmanned missions such as the Martian Soft Lander and Martian Sub-surface Penetrator will precede him. In-situ power sources must be developed to supply the next generation of surface exploratory spacecraft, since all current methods have significant drawbacks. One such alternative is to take advantage of the unique Martian atmospheric conditions by designing a small scale. Martian Wind Power Generator, capable of surviving impact and fulfilling the long term (2-5 years), low-level power requirements (1-2 Watts) of an unmanned surface probe. After investigation of several wind machines, a tornado vortex generator was chosen based upon its capability of theoretically augmenting and increasing the available power that may be extracted from average Martian wind speeds of approximately 7.5 meters per second.

Subject Headings: Wind power | Electric power | Mars | Wind speed | Space exploration | Vortices | Tornadoes

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