Crowdsourcing Solutions For A Sensor To Survive Venus

February 19, 2020 By IdeaConnection

Sensor to Survive VenusVenus is not the most hospitable planet in the solar system. It has a surface temperature of 462°C (863°F) and an atmospheric pressure that is more than 90 times stronger than the Earth's. 

NASA thinks it has the technology and the smarts to design Venus-resistant electronics, but just to be on the safe side, it is seeking external help with a crowdsourcing competition.

Crowdsourcing Challenge

In conjunction with HeroX, the space agency has launched a crowdsourcing competition to develop an obstacle avoidance sensor for its AREE explorer that could survive the hazardous conditions. 

Up for grabs is $30,000 in prize money. This will be shared among the top three sensors that can navigate rough terrain while withstanding extreme temperatures and pressures.

Performance Criteria

Among the performance criteria, the submitted fully mechanical sensors must meet are –

To reliably respond when encountering:

  • Slopes greater than 30 degrees (either up or downhill).
  • Rocks greater than 0.35 meters in height.
  • Holes/valleys greater than 0.35 meters deep, and for any width except for narrow valleys.

The proposed technology should also have an operational lifespan of at least six months.

The crowdsourcing competition is open to most people worldwide who are over the age of 18.

The closing date for submissions is May 29 at 5 PM Eastern.

Tough Challenge

The challenge is particularly tough not only for the truncated timeframe but also participants must do better than previous sensors that have been designed by NASA engineers.

For more information about the crowdsourcing competition, click here.

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