Jan 27, 17 06:24 UTC

can you fly a helicopter,drones or microlight on the moon?  

Given that Moon exploration is being planned by russia , Japan, India and others in the next 3 years and rovers have limited range is it possible to fly a helicopter or microlite and drones on the Moon? Obviously this would cover greater areas and accumulate more data particlarly if they can land and grab samples . Power souces? solar? Lift capacities? specific design or adapted existing models?

ADD ...can you send solar powered drones from an orbiting spacecraft to permanently stay on the moon and use programmed routes to map and sample the surface?

  Last edited by:  qwerty (Asgardian)  on Jan 27, 17 06:35 UTC, edited 2 times in total.

Jan 27, 17 08:46 UTC

ok I googled it..it seems with no atmostpherfe it needs propulsion of some sort and research is being done with asteroids in mind as well ...links below if interested

" So the team has created a system that putters around using cold-gas jets." https://qz.com/469334/nasa-is-working-on-drones-that-can-fly-in-space/

and " lithium hydride and peroxide propulsion system " http://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/drones-moon-180956187/

Jan 29, 17 06:40 UTC

yea, atmosphere is important for rotors. so mapping the moon is out. might be possible to implement something like that on mars or venus tho. have atmosphere's, but arent like earths (obviously :) ) but might be possible.

Jan 29, 17 16:52 UTC

Drone is possible - but without atmosphere you'd require another propulsion method to things that would produce thrust via airflow. Anything relying on propellant should if possible be avoided. The less "disposable" technologies employed the better. These are not defacto standards but some things are quite promising like Shawyers EM drive.

If you poke around these forums someone had a cunning plan to build "spike spheres" to expore the lunar surface and subsurface.

Feb 14, 17 09:24 UTC

The EM drive is really more pseudo-science than anything. Link to video explanation here: https://youtu.be/jCAqDA8IfR4

I am glad others have already explained why devices utilizing rotors will not work.

Feb 19, 17 06:31 UTC

No, not traditional ones anyway, but with some modifications then yes it would be possible

Feb 19, 17 16:45 UTC

What sort of "modificatoins" would that be? providing the moon with an atmosphere?

Feb 22, 17 12:20 UTC

Qwerty, what's your end goal for mapping the surface of the moon? Normally you'd do this with orbiting satellites in a polar orbit, without atmosphere you can't generate lift with propellers.

You could drop a rover from orbit as long as it has means to slow itself down (generally some kind of rockets). Solar power should be enough for shallow surface drilling and wandering around for a while.

Feb 22, 17 16:17 UTC

The amount of gravity on the moon is negligible, so you would require very little thrust to get a drone in flight. The lack of atmosphere, however, means you would need to constantly produce a very small amount of lift to keep the drone off the ground.

However, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrically_powered_spacecraft_propulsion may provide enough propulsion to keep a drone off the ground as long as it has power, but unlikely. Keeping it supplied with power when on the sunny side of the moon wouldn't be too much of an issue, but it would go dead as soon as it got dark.

Otherwise, drones flying by using small amounts of propellants shot out from nozzles seems the only real way to get anything to 'fly' on the Moon, but it seems a lot easier to just set up driving drones that work on wheels.

Feb 23, 17 05:35 UTC

I personally thought: https://asgardia.space/en/forum/forum/engineering-32/topic/luna-lava-tubes-research-and-moon-base-viability-project-1498/ was a novel way to map the lunar surface/subsurface

Feb 24, 17 16:52 UTC

Unless you need hyper detailed maps, mapping from orbit solves most of your problems. You don't need to waste energy getting out of orbit (only into a polar one, unless you circularise into one initially), and you don't need to constantly burn fuel to stay 'airborne'.

Gravity on the moon is about 16% of ours, so the fuel requirements would be less, but not negligible.

Once you've mapped your points of interest, you can drive a tried and tested rover there.

  Last edited by:  snik (Asgardian)  on Feb 24, 17 16:53 UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added last point

Mar 6, 17 12:55 UTC

No EyeR,

Nothing that grand would be required, you just design the drone or even helicopter to use methods of propulsion that does not require the presence of an atmosphere! Like the people responsible for the Harrier jump jet, designed it to not require run ways for take offs and landings!

  Updated  on Mar 6, 17 12:58 UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Mar 6, 17 16:08 UTC

And how precisely do you intend on building a helicopter to not require utilising lift provided thrust of a radial fan?

You seriously should concern yourself more with thinking about what you're saying, more than finding ways to poke at me.

Mar 7, 17 21:40 UTC

Well, first I would take advantage of the fact that the moon has no atmosphere and weak gravity, Second I would eliminate all unnecessary features of the helicopter, and third I would utilize a propulsion system capable of generating the thrust necessary to get the craft off of the lunar surface. See a rather simple plan, besides why would I design a craft to utilize a phenomenon that does not exist in the lunar environment? Perhaps, you should stop investing so much energy into harrassing me and think about what you are saying

Mar 7, 17 23:41 UTC

A thrust mechanism suitable to provide lift on the moon will have significant difficulty conforming to the definition of "helicopter". IMHO. Feel free to try and prove me wrong, ofc, I know you'll be itching.

I do think about what I'm saying - which is how I don't end up saying rediculous things like I can build a "moon helicopter". I also expend no energy in "harrassing you" - you came here and started talking to me. I don't see how factually observing your exhibited behaviour counts as harassment.