23, June 2020

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO10360
Open Date: 10/06/2020
Closing Date: 27/07/2020 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 20.129.13
Prog. Ref.: Technology Developme
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / Mechanisms / Mechanisms / Other
Technology Domains: Automation, Telepresence & Robotics / Automation & Robotics Systems / Mobility Systems
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. & Quality
Department: Mechanical Department
Division: Mechatronics and Optics Division
Contract Officer: Almeida, Rudolfo
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 10/06/2020
Update Reason: Tender issue

Flying over a surface to reach and investigate sites of scientific interest presents clear advantages (e.g. speed, ease of planningtrajectories, avoidance of obstacles). ESA (TEC-MMA) has been investigating in several instances the use of Aerobots. The investigation have been confined to the use of light-then-air aerobots and fixed wings aerobots. The subject of rotating wing aerobots was only approached from the computational side to show that it was a very demanding subject from the technology point of view. However with the explosion of drones in civilian use, many of the technological issues have been removed by development of amazingly performing motors, control systems, batteries that allow now to have a fresh look at the subject.Flying on Mars with rotating wings is stilla daunting task but now with the availability f terrestrial components the technological issue is in the adaptation of these components to the Martian atmosphere.The activity aims at developing a breadboard of rotating wing aerobot capable of surveying Martian surface in the proximity of a rover with centimetre scale resolution. The aerobot would lift of from a deck on the rover, fly around the rover for about a kilometre range and land back on the same deck. The rover would provide for battery exchange/recharge.Tasks include:- definition of requirements (based of preliminary set provided by the Agency)- preliminary design of the aerobot, definition of subsystem and identification of components- multiple breadboarding of critical subsystems for test in Martian atmosphere (including dust)- test in Martian atmosphere to determine validity of design and selection, and identify design changes- detailed design- development of software for automatic controlled flight, take-off and landing- manufacturing, assembly, integration and test- test in representative environment (large scale VT chamber for Martian atmosphere)

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