Venus 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.
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.
Among the performance criteria, the submitted fully mechanical sensors must meet are –
To reliably respond when encountering:
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.
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.