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Titan Buoyant Atmospheric Glider, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Your mission is to explore the atmosphere and surface of Saturn's moon, Titan, a cold, harsh environment that poses many technical challenges for any potential exploration platform. Imagine an inflatable, flying wing-glider that could enter Titan?s atmosphere from orbit, execute controlled movements in atmospheric flight, and descend to the surface for scientific measurement or payload delivery. The Titan-Buoyant Atmospheric Glider (T-BAG) system is a hybrid entry vehicle, balloon, and maneuverable glider with 3-D directional control that could satisfy all of these objectives while operating on the minimal power available from a Radioisotope Power Source (RPS). T-BAG's unique buoyancy control system is at the heart of the proposed innovation, enabling both ascending and descending glide without propulsion systems or control surfaces. Potential T-BAG mission applications include long-lived flight at low altitudes with revisit capability, high resolution surface imaging, in-situ measurements of precipitation, fog, volcanism, etc., and controlled, targeted delivery of landers to the surface. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)