Exploring Drone Utility for Radiation Protection on Martian Ground and Underground
One of the greatest challenges for manned missions to Mars is the high radiation environment that exists in space. Unlike Earth, Mars has a very weak magnetic field and an extremely thin atmosphere, which does not offer sufficient protection against incoming radiation. A promising strategy is to use the Martian ground and underground as a natural shield against such level of radiation. To this end, this project explores the feasibility of using a drone as a valuable tool for locating and analysing potential entrances to the underground. During the maximum activity of the sun, there are extreme solar events that can also contribute to radiation on Mars. In particular, coronal mass ejections unpredictably eject large amounts of energetic particles into space. Under certain conditions, the particles can reach the surface of Mars and could surprise astronauts during an extravehicular activity. The idea here is to use the drone to see how to make the best use of the terrain to be protected from these unpredictable events.